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\ 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN; 


OR, 


THE MAIDEN OF THE MIST. 


BY 

4 


THE AITTHOR OF "WA VERIFY," &c. 


What ! will the aspiring blood of Lancaster 
Sink in the ground ? 

Shakspeari. 


IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. L 


EDINBURGH : 

PRINTED FOR CADELL AND CO., EDINBURGH ; 
AND 8IMPKIN AND MARSHALL* LONDON. 

1889. 



i our burgh: 

PR1NTBD BY BALLANTYlf ■ AND COMPANY, 
PAUL'S WORK, CANONOATB. 


ANNE OF GEIEKSTEIN; 


OR, 


THE MAIDEN OP THE MIST. 


VOL. I. 


« * 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN ; 


OR, 


THE MAJDEN OF THE MIST. 


CHAPTER I. 


Xhe mists boil up around the glaciers ; clouds 
Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphurous, 
Like foam from the roused ocean. 


— — — I am giddy. 

Manfred. 

The course of four centuries has wellnigh 
elapsed since the series of events which are re- 
lated in the following chapters, took place on 
the Continent. The records which contained 
the outlines of the history, and might be refer- 
red to as proof of its veracity, were long pre- 
served in the superb library of the Monastery 
of Saint Gall, bat perished, with many of the 


ini aw GtsEMSTErs. 


Klmry tanm of thai estaUjshmeriV 
the convent was plundered by the French 
ydntaonary armies. The events are fixed, by 
historical date, to the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury* — that important period, when chivalry still 
shone with a setting ray, soon about to be total- 
ly obscured; in some coim tries, by the establish- 
ment of free institutions, in others, by that of 
arbitrary power, which alike rendered useless 
the interference of those redressers of wrongs, 
whose only warrant of authority was the sword. 
Amid the general light which had recently 
shone upon Europe, France, Burgundy, and 
Italy, but more especially Austria, had been 
made acquainted with the character of a people, 
of whose very existence they had before been 
scarcely conscious. It is true, that the inhabi- 
tants of those countries which lie in the vicinity 
of the Alps, that immense barrier, were not 
ignorant, that notwithstanding their rugged and 
desolate appearance, the secluded valleys which 
winded among those gigantic mountains nou- 
rished a race of hunters and shepherds ; men, 
who, living in a state of primeval simplicity, 




I • *.' 




A"KNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


compelled from the soil a subsistence gained by 
severe labour, followed the chase over the most 
savage precipices and through the darkest pine 
forests, or drove their cattle to spots which af- 
forded them a scanty pasturage, even in the vi- 
cinage of eternal snows. But the existence of 
such a people, or rather of a number of small 
communities who followed nearly the same poor 
and hardy coarse of life, had seemed to the rich 
and powerful princes in the neighbourhood a 
matter of as little consequence, as it is to the 
stately herds which repose in a fertile meadow, 
that a few half-starved goats find their scanty 
food among the rocks which overlook their rich 
domain. 

But wonder and attention began to be attract- 
ed towards these mountaineers, about the mid- 
dle of the fourteenth century, when reports were 
spread abroad of severe contests, in which the 
German chivalry, endeavouring to suppress in- 
surrections among their Alpine vassals, had sus- 
tained repeated and bloody defeats, although 
having on their side numbers and discipline, 
and the advantage of the most perfect military 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


equipment. Great was the wonder that caval- 
ry, which made the only efficient part of the 
feudal armies, should be routed by men on foot ; 
that warriors sheathed in complete steel should 
be overpowered by men who wore no defensive 
armour, and were irregularly provided with 
pikes, halberts, and clubs, for the purpose of at- 
tack; above all, it seemed a species of miracle, 
that knights and nobles should be defeated by 
peasants and shepherds. But the repeated vic- 
tories of the Swiss at Laupen, Sempach, and 
on other less distinguished occasions, plainly in- 
timated that a new principle of civil organiza- 
tion,as well as of military movemente,had arisen 
amid the stormy regions of Helvetia. 

Still, although the decisive victories which 
obtained liberty for the Swiss cantons, as well 
as the spirit of resolution and wisdom with 
which the members of the little confederation 
had maintained themselves against the utmost 
exertions of Austria, had spread their fame 
abroad through all the neighbouring countries ; 
and although they themselves were conscious 
of the power which repeated victories had ae- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 7 

quired, yet down to the middle of the fifteenth 
century, and at a later date, they retained in a 
great measure the wisdom, moderation, and sim- 
plicity of their ancient manners ; so much so, 
that those who were intrusted with the command 
of the troops of the Republic in battle, were wont 
to resume the shepherd's staff when they laid 
down the truncheon, and, like the Rom&n dic- 
tators, to retire to complete equality with their 
fellow citizens, from the eminence to which their 
talents, and the call of their country, had raised 
them. 

It is, then, in the Forest Cantons of Switz- 
erland, in the autumn of 1474, that our tale 
opens. 


Two travellers, one considerably past the 
prime of life, the other probably two or three* 
and- twenty years old, had passed the night at the 
little town of Lucerne, the capital of the state 
of the same name, and beautifully situated on 
the Lake of the Four Cantons. Their dress and 
character seemed those of merchants of a higher 


8 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

» 

eiass, and while they themselves journeyed on 
foot, the character of the country rendering that 
by far the most easy mode of pursuing their 
route, a young peasant lad, from the Italian side 
of the Alps, followed them with a sumpter mule, 
which he sometimes mounted, but more fre- 
quently led by the bridle. 

The travellers were uncommonly fine-look- 
ing men, and seemed connected by some very 
near relationship, — probably that of father and 
son ; for at the little inn where they lodged on 
the preceding evening, the great deference and 
respect paid by the younger to the elder, had 
not escaped the observation of the natives, 
who, like other sequestered beings, were curi- 
ous in proportion to the limited means of in- 
formation which they possessed. They obser- 
ved also, that the merchants, under pretence 
of haste, declined opening their bales, or pro- 
posing traffic to the inhabitants of Lucerne, al- 
leging in excuse, that they had no commodities 
fitted for the market The females of the town 
were the more displeased with the reserve of the 
mercantile travellers, because they were given to 


ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 9 

understand, that it was occasioned by the wares 
in which they dealt being too costly to find cos* 
tomers among the Helvetian mountains ; for it 
had transpired, by means of their attendant, that 
the strangers had visited Venice, and had there 
made many purchase, of rich commodity 
which were brought from India and Egypt to 
that celebrated emporium, as to the common 
mart of the Western World, and thence disper- 
sed into all quarters of Europe* Now the Swiss 
maidens had of late made the discovery that 
gauds and gems were fair to look upon, and 
though without the hope of being able to pos- 
sess themselves of such ornaments, they felt a 
natural desire to review and handle the rich 
stores of the merchants, and some displeasure 
at being prevented from doing so. 

It was also observed, that though the stran- 
gers were sufficiently courteous in their de- 
meanour, they did not evince that studious 
anxiety to please, displayed by the travelling 
pedlars or merchants of Lombardy or Savoy, 
by whom the inhabitants of the mountains 
were occasionally visited; and who had been 


10 ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 

more frequent in their rounds of late years* 
since the spoils of victory had invested the 
Swiss with some wealth, and had taught many 
of them new wants. Those peripatetic tra- 
ders were civil and assiduous, as their calling 
required ; but the new visitors seemed men 
who were indifferent to traffic, or at least to 
the gains which could be gathered in Switzer- 
land. 

Curiosity was farther excited by the circum- 
stance, that they spoke to each other in a lan- 
guage which was certainly neither German, Ita- 
lian, nor French, but from which an old man 
serving in the cabaret, who had once been as 
far as Paris, supposed they might be English ; 
a people of whom it was only known that they 
were a fierce insular race, at war with the French 
for many years, and a large body of whom had 
invaded the Forest Cantons, and sustained such 
a defeat in the valley of Russwyl, as was well 
remembered by the grey-haired men of Lu- 
cerne, who received the tale from their fathers. 

The lad who attended the strangers, was soon 
ascertained to be a youth from the Grison coun- 


ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 11 

try, who acted as their guide, so far as his know- 
ledge of the mountains permitted. He said they 
designed to go to Bdle, but seemed desirous to 
travel by circuitous and unfrequented routes. 
The circumstances just mentioned increased the 
general desire to know more of the travellers and 
of their merchandize. Not a bale, however, was 
unpacked, and the merchants, leaving Lucerne 
next morning, resumed their toilsome journey, 
preferring a circuitous route and bad roads, 
through the peaceful cantons of Switzerland, 
to encountering the exactions and rapine of the 
robber chivalry of Germany, who, like so many 
sovereigns, made war each at his own pleasure, 
and levied tolls and taxes on all who passed their 
domains of a mile's breadth, with all the inso- 
lence of petty tyranny. 

For several hours after leaving Lucerne, the 
journey of our travellers was successfully pro- 
secuted. The road, though precipitous and dif- 
cult, was rendered interesting by those splen- 
did phenomena, which no country exhibits in 
a more astonishing manner than the moun- 
tains of Switzerland, where the rocky pass, the 


12 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

verdant valley, the broad lake, and the rushing 
torrent, the attributes of other hills as well as 
these, are interspersed with the magnificent and 
yet fearful horrors of the glaciers, a feature pe* 
culiar to themselves. 

It was not an age in which the beauties or 
grandeur of a landscape made much impression 
either on the minds of those who travelled through 
the country, or who resided in it* To the lat- 
ter, the objects, however dignified, were familiar, 
and associated with daily habits and with daily 
toil; and the former saw, perhaps, more terror 
than beauty in the wild region through which 
they passed, and were rather solicitous to get safe 
to their night's quarters, than to comment on the 
grandeur of the scenes which lay between them 
and their place of rest* Yet our merchants, as 
they proceeded on their journey, could not help 
being strongly impressed by the character of 
the scenery around them. Their road lay along 
the side of the lake, at times level and close on 
its very margin, at times rising to a great height 
on the side of the mountain, and winding along 
the verge of precipices which sunk down to 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 13 

the water as sharp and sheer as the wall of a 
castle descends upon the ditch which defends it 
At other times it traversed spots of a milder 
character, — delightful green slopes, and lowly 
retired valleys, affdrding both pasturage and 
arable ground, sometimes watered by small 
streams, which winded by the hamlet of wood- 
en huts with their fantastic little church and 
steeple, meandered round the orchard and the 
mount of vines, and, murmuring gently as they 
flowed, found a quiet passage into the lake. 

" That stream, Arthur,' 9 said the elder tra- 
veller, as with one consent they stopped to gaze 
on such a scene as I have described, " resembles 
the life of a good and a happy man*" 

" And the brook, which hurries itself head- 
long down yon distant hill, marking its course 
by a streak of white foam," answered Arthur, 
— " what does that resemble ?" 

" That of a brave and unfortunate one," re- 
plied hisiather. 

" The torrent for me," said Arthur; " a 
headlong course which no human force can op- 


t+ 


14 AVIE OF GEICRSTKIW. 


pose, and then let it be as brief at it is glori- 


000*" 


« It is a young man's thought," replied his 
father; M bot lam wdl aware that it is so root- 
ed in thy heart, that nothing but the rode hand 
of adversity can pluck it up." 

" As yet the root clings fast to my heart's 
strings," said the young man ; " and mcthinks 
adversity's hand hath had a fair grasp of it." 

" You speak, my son, of what you little 
understand/ 9 said his father. " Know, that till 
the middle of life be passed, men scarce distin- 
guish true prosperity from adversity, or rather 
they court as the favours of fortune what they 
should more justly regard as the marks of her 
displeasure. Look at yopder mountain, which 
wears on its shaggy brow a diadem of clouds, 
now raised and now depressed, while the sun 
glances upon, but is unable to dispel it ; — a child 
might believe it to be a crown of glory — a, man 
knows it to be the signal of tempest.* 

Arthur followed the direction of his father's 
eye to the dark and shadowy eminence of Mount 
Pilatre 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 15 

" Is the mist on yonder wild mountain so 
Qminous then ?" asked the young man. 

" Demand of Antonio/' said his father ; " he 
will tell you the legend." 

The young merchant addressed himself to 
the Swiss lad who acted as their attendant, de- 
siring to know the name of the gloomy height, 
which, in that quarter, seems the leviathan of 
the huge congregation of mountains assembled 
about Lucerne. 

The lad crossed himself devoutly, as he re- 
counted the popular legend, that the wicked 
Proconsul of Judaea had here found the termina- 
tion of his impious life ; having, after spending 
years in the recesses of that mountain which 
bear* his name, at length, in remorse and de- 
spair rather than in penitence, plunged into the 
dismal lake which occupies the summit. Whe- 
ther water refused to do the executioner's duty 
upon such a wretch, or whether, his body be- 
ing drowned his vexed spirit continued to haunt 
the place where he committed suicide, An- 
tonio did not pretend to explain. But a form 
was often, he said, seen to emerge from the 


16 ANNE OF GEIER STEIN. 

gloomy waters, and go through the action of 
one washing his hands ; and when he did so, 
dark clouds of mist gathered first round the bo- 
som of the Infernal lake, (such it had been styled 
of old,) and then wrapping the whole upper part 
of the mountain in darkness, presaged a tem- 
pest or hurricane, which was sure to follow in 
a short space. He added, that the evil spirit 
was peculiarly exasperated at the audacity of 
such strangers as ascended the mountain to gaze 
at his place of punishment, and that, in conse- 
quence, the magistrates of Lucerne had prohi- 
bited any one from approaching Mount Pilatre, 
under severe penalties. Antonio once more 
crossed himself as he finished his legend; in 
wHch act of devotion he was imitated by his 
hearers, too good Catholics to entertain any 
doubt of the truth of the story. 

" How the accursed heathen scowls upon us I" 
said the younger of the merchants, while the 
cloud darkened and seemed to settle on the brow 
of Mount Pilatre. " Vade retro ;— be thou de- 
fied, sinner !" 

A rising wind, rather heard than felt, seem- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 17 

ed to groan forth, in the tone of a dying lion, 
the acceptance of the suffering spirit to the rash 
challenge of the young Englishman. The moun- 
tain was seen to send down its rugged sides thick 
wreaths of heaving mist, which, rolling through 
the rugged chasms that seamed the grisly hill, 
resembled torrents of rushing lava pouring down 
from a volcano. The ridgy precipices, which 
formed the sides of these huge ravines, showed 
their splintery and rugged edges over the va- 
pour, as if dividing from each other the descend- 
ing streams of mist which rolled around them. 
As a strong contrast to this gloomy and threat- 
ening scene, the more distant mountain range 
of Righi shone brilliant with all the hues of an 
autumnal sun. 

While the travellers watched this striking and 
varied contrast, which resembled an approach- 
ing combat betwixt the powers of Light and 
Darkness, their guide, in his mixed jargon of 
Italian and German, exhorted them to make 
haste on their journey. The village to which 
he proposed to conduct them, he said, was yet 
distant, the road bad, and difficult to find, and 

vol. i. b 


18 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

if the Evil One (looking to Mount Pilatre, and 
crossing himself) should send his darkness upon 
the valley, the path would be both doubtful and 
dangerous. The travellers, thus admonished, 
gathered the capes of their cloaks close round 
their throats, pulled their bonnets resolvedly 
over their brows, drew the buckle of the broad 
belts which fastened their mantles, and each 
with a mountain staff in his hand, well shod 
with an iron spike, they pursued their journey, 
with unabated strength and undaunted spirit. 

With every step the scenes around them ap- 
peared to change. Each mountain, as if its 
firm and immutable form were flexible and va- 
rying, altered in appearance, like that of a sha- 
dowy apparition, as the position of the strangers 
relative to them changed with their motions, 
and as the mist, which continued slowly, though 
constantly to descend, influenced the rugged as- 
pect of the hills and valleys which it shrouded 
with its vapoury mantle. The nature of their 
progress, too, never direct, but winding by a 
narrow path along the sinuosities of the valley, 
and making many a circuit round precipices and 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 19 

other obstacles which it was impossible to sur- 
mount, added to the wild variety of a journey, 
in which, at last, the travellers totally lost any 
vague idea which they had previously entertain- 
ed concerning the direction in which the road 
led them. 

" I would," said the elder, " we had that mys- 
tical needle which mariners talk of, that points 
ever to the north, and enables them to keep their 
way on the waters, when there is neither cape 
nor headland, sun, moon, nor stars, nor any 
mark in heaven or earth, to tell them how to 
steer." 

" It would scarce avail us among these moun- 
tains," answered the youth ; " for though that 
wonderful needle may keep its point to the north- 
ern Pole-star, when it is on a flat surface like 
the sea, it is not to be thought it would do so 
when these huge mountains arise like walls, be- 
twixt the steel and the object of its sympathy." 

" I fear me," replied the father, " we shall 
find our guide, who has been growing hourly 
more stupid since he left his own valley, as use- 
less as you suppose the compass would be among 


>' 


20 ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. ? 

4 

'tbe*hiUs of this wild country. — Canst tell, my 
boy," said he, addressing Antonio in bad Ita- 
lian, " if we be in the road we purposed ?" 

" If it please Saint Antonio—" said the guide, 
who was obviously too much confused to answer 
the question directly. 

" And that water, half covered with mist, 
which glimmers through the fog, at the foot of 
this huge black precipice — is it still a part of 
the Lake of Lucerne, or have we lighted upon 
another since we ascended that last hill? 9 ' 

Antonio could only answer that they ought 
to be on the Lake of Lucerne still, and that he 
hoped that what they saw below them was only 
a winding branch of the same sheet of water. 
Qut he could say nothing with certainty. 

" Dog of an Italian !" exclaimed the younger 
traveller, " thou deservest to have thy bones bro- 
ken, for undertaking a charge which thou art as 
incapable to perform, as thou art to guide us to 
heaven !" 

" Peace, Arthur," said his father ; " if you 
frighten the lad, he runs off, and~we lose the 
small advantage we might have by his know- 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 21 

ledge; if you use your baton, he rewards you 
with the stab of a knife, — for such is the humour 
of a revengeful Lombard. Either way, you are 
marred instead of helped. — Hark thee hither, 
my boy," he continued, in his indifferent Italian, 
" be not afraid of that hot youngster, whom I 
will npt permit to injure thee ; but tell me, if 
thou canst, the names of the villages by which 
we are to make our journey to-day ?" 

The gentle mode in which the elder traveller 
spoke reassured the lad, who had been somewhat 
alarmed at the harsh tone and menacing expres- 
sions of his younger companion ; and he poured 
forth, in his patois, a flood of names, in which 
the German guttural sounds were strangely in- 
termixed with the soft accents of the Italian, but 
which carried to the hearer no intelligible infor- 
mation concerning the object of his question ; so 
that, at length, he was forced to conclude, " Even 
lead on, in Our Lady's name, or in Saint An- 
tonio's, if you like it better ; we shall but lose 
4 time, I see, in trying to understand each other." 

They moved on as before, with this difference, 
that the guide, leading the mule, now went first, 


22 AH HE OF GEIEBSTEIK. 

» 

and was followed by the other two, whose mo- 
tions he had formerly directed h y calling to them 
from behind. The clouds meantime became 
thicker and thicker, and the mist, which had at 
first been a thin vapour, began now to descend 
in the form of a small thick rain, which gathered 
like dew upon the capotes of the travellers. Dis- 
tant rustling and groaning sounds were heard 
among the remote mountains, similar to those by 
which the evil spirit of Mount Pilatre had seem- 
ed to announce the storm. The boy again press- 
ed his companions to advance, but at the same 
time threw impediments in the way of their do- 
ing so, by the slowness and indecision which he 
showed in leading them on, 

k Having proceeded in this manner for three or 
four miles, which uncertainty rendered doubly 
tedious, the travellers were at length engaged 
in a narrow path, running along the verge of a 
precipice. Beneath was water, but of what de- 
scription they could not ascertain. The wind, 
indeed, which began to be felt in sudden gusts, 
sometimes swept aside the mist so completely 
as to show waves glimmering below ; but whe- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 23 

ther they were those of the same lake on which 
their morning journey had commenced, whe- 
ther it was another or separate sheet of water of 
a similar character, or whether it was a river 
or large brook, the view afforded was too indis- 
tinct to determine. Thus far was certain, that 
they were not on the shores of the Lake of Lu- 
cerne, where it displays its usual expanse of wa- 
ters; for the same hurricane-gusts which showed 
them water in the bottom of the glen, gave them 
a transient view of the opposite side, at what 
exact distance they could not well discern, but 
near enough to show tall abrupt rocks and shag- 
gy pine trees, here united in groups, and there 
singly anchored among the cliffs which over- 
hung the water. 

Hitherto the path, though steep and rugged, 
was plainly enough indicated, and showed traces 
of having been used both by riders and foot 
passengers. But suddenly, as Antonio with 
the mule had reached a projecting eminence, 
around the peak of which the path made a sharp 
turn, he stopped short, with his usual exclama- 
tion, addressed to his patron saint. It appeared 


-n 


24 ANNE OF GE1ERSTE1N. 

to Arthur that the mule shary!' the terrors of 
the guide ; fiflJt started back, put forward its 
fore feet separate from each other, and seemed, 
by .the attitude which it assumed, to intimate a 
determination to resist every proposal to ad- 
vance, fft the same time expressing horror and 
fear at the prospect which lay before it* 

Arthur pressed forward, not only from curio- 
sity, but that he might if possible bear the brunt 
of any danger before his father came up to share 
it. In less time than we have taken to tell the 
story, the young man stood beside Antonio and 
the mule, upon a platform of rock on which the 
road seemed absolutely to terminate, and from 
the further side of which a precipice sunk sheer 
down, to what depth the mist did not permit 
him to discern, but certainly to more than three 
hundred feet. 

The blank expression which overcast the vi- 
sages of the travellers, and traces of which might 
be discerned in the physiognomy of their beast 
of burden, announced, alarm and mortification 
at this unexpected, and, as it seemed, insur- 
mountable obstacle. Nor did the looks of the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 25 

■ • • 

father, who pre^jptly after came up to the signe 
spot, convey either hope of coinftirt* He stood 
with the others gazing* on the misty gulf be- 
neath them, and looking all around, but in vain, 
for some continuation of the path, which cer- 
tainly had never been originally designed to ter- 
minate in this manner. As they stood uncertain 
what to do next, the son in vain attempting to 
discover some mode of passing onward, and the 
father about to propose that they should return 
by the road which had brought them hither, a 
loud howl of the wind, more wild than they had 
yet heard, swept down the valley. All being 
aware of the danger of being hurled from the 
precarious station which they occupied, snatched 
at bushes and rocks by which to secure them- 
selves, and even the poor mule seemed to steady 
itself, in order to withstand the approaching hur- 
ricane. The gust came with such unexpected fu- 
ry that it appeared to the travellers to shake the 
very rock on which they stood, and would have 
swept them from its surface like so many dry 
leaves, had it not been for the precaution which 
they had taken to secure themselves. But as 


26 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

the wind rushed down the glen, it completely 
removed for the space of three or four minutes 
the veil of mist which former gusts had only 
served to agitate or discompose, and showed 
them the nature and cause of the interruption 
which they had met with so unexpectedly. 

The rapid but correct eye of Arthur was then 
able to ascertain that the path, after leaving the 
platform of rock on which they stood, had origi- 
nally passed upwards in the same direction along 
a steep bank of earth, which had the» formed the 
upper covering of a stratum of precipitous rocks. 
But it had chanced, in some of the convulsions 
of nature which take place in those wild regions, 
where she works upon a scale so formidable, 
that the earth had made a slip, or almost a pre- 
cipitous descent, from the rock, and been hurl- 
ed downwards with the path, which was traced 
along the top, and with bushes, trees, or what- 
ever grew upon it, into the channel of the 
stream ; for such they could now discern the wa- 
ter beneath them to be, and not a lake, or an 
arm of a lake, as they had hitherto supposed. 

The immediate cause of this phenomenon 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 27 

might probably have been an earthquake, not 
unfrequent in that country. The bank of earth, 
now a confused mass of ruins inverted in its 
fall, showed some trees growing in a horizon- 
tal position, and others, which, having pitched 
on their heads in their descent, were at once in- 
verted and shattered to pieces, and lay a sport 
to the streams of the river which they had here- 
tofore covered with gloomy shadow. The gaun t 
precipice which remained behind, like the ske- 
leton of some huge monster divested of its flesh, 
formed the wall of a fearful abyss, resembling 
the face of a newly wrought quarry, more dismal 
of aspect from the rawness of its recent forma- 
tion, and from its being as yet uncovered with 
any of the vegetation with which nature speed- 
ily mantles over the bare surface even of her 
sternest crags and precipices. 

Besides remarking these appearances, which 
tended to show that this interruption of the road 
had been of recent occurrence, Arthur was able 
to observe, on the further side of the river, high- 
er up the valley, and rising out of the pine fo- 
rests, interspersed with rocks, a square building 


28 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

of considerable height, like the rains of a Gothic 
tower. He pointed out this remarkable object 
to Antonio, and demanded if he knew it ; justly 
conjecturing that, from the peculiarity of the 
site, it was a land-mark not easily to be forgot- 
ten by any who had seen it before. Accordingly, 
it was gladly and promptly recognised by the lad, 
who called cheerfully out, that the place was 
Geierstein, that is, as he explained it, the Rock 
of the Vultures. He knew it, he said, by the 
tower, as well as bya huge pinnacle of rock which 
arose near it, almost in the form of a steeple, 
to the top of which the lammer-geier (one of 
the largest birds of prey known to exist) had in 
former days transported the child of an ancient 
lord of the castle. He proceeded to recount the 
vow which was made by the Knight of Geierstein 
to Our Lady of Einsiedlen; and, while he spoke, 
the castle, rocks, woods, and precipices, again 
faded in mist. But as he concluded his wonder- 
ful narrative with the miracle which restored 
the infant again to its father's arms, he cried 
out suddenly, " Look to yourselves — the storm ! 
-—the storm 1" It came accordingly, and sweep- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 29 

ing the mist before it, again bestowed on the 
travellers a view of the horrors around them. 

" Ay !" quoth Antonio, triumphantly, as the 
gust abated, " old Pontius loves little to hear of 
Our Lady of Einsiedlen ; but she will keep her 
own with him — Ave Maria !" 

" That tower,' 9 said the young traveller, 
" seems uninhabited. I can descry no smoke, 
and the battlement appears ruinous.' 9 

" It has not been inhabited for many a day," 
answered the guide. " But I would I were at 
it, for all that. Honest Arnold Biederman, the 
Landamman [chief magistrate] of the Canton of 
Unterwalden, dwells near, and I warrant you, 
strangers will not want the best that cupboard 
and cellar can find them, wherever he holds 
rule." 

" I have heard of him," said the elder tra- 
veller, whom Antonio had been taught to call 
Seignor Philipson ; " a good and hospitable man, 
and one who enjoys deserved weight with his 
countrymen." 

" You have spoken him right, Seignor," an- 
swered the guide; "and I would we could reach 


30 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

his house, where you should be sure of hospi- 
table treatment, and a good direction for your 
next day's journey. But how we are to get to 
the Vulture's Castle, unless we had wings like 
the vulture, is a question hard to answer." 

Arthur replied by a daring proposal, which 
the reader will find in the next chapter. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 31 


CHAPTER II. 


Away with me. 


The clouds grow thicker— there — now lean on me. 
Place your foot here— here, take this staff, and cling 
A moment to that shrub— now, give me your hand. 


The chalet will be gained in half an hour. 

After surveying the desolate scene as accu- 
rately as the stormy state of the atmosphere 
would permit, the younger of the travellers ob- 
served, " In any other country, I should say the 
tempest begins to abate ; but what to expect in 
this land of desolation, it were rash to decide. 
If the apostate spirit of Pilate be actually on the 
blast, these lingering and more distant howls 

seem to intimate that he is returning to his place 

11 


32 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

of punishment. The pathway has sunk with the 
ground on which it was traced — I can see part 
of it lying down in the abyss, marking, as with 
a streak of clay, yonder mass of earth and stone. 
But I think it possible, with your permission, 
my father, that I could still scramble forward 
along the edge of the precipice, till I come in 
sight of the habitation which the lad tells us of. 
If there be actually such a one, there must 
be an access to it somewhere ; and if I cannot 
find the path out, I can at least make a signal 
to those who dwell near the Vulture's Nest yon- 
der, and obtain some friendly guidance." 

" I cannot consent to your incurring such a 
risk," said his father ; " let the lad go forward, 
if he can and will. He is mountain-bred, and 
I will reward him richly." 

But Antonio declined the proposal absolutely 
and decidedly. " I am mountain-bred," he said, 
" but I am no goat-hunter ; and I have no wings 
to transport me from cliff to cliff, like a raven 
—gold is not worth life." 

" And God forbid," said Seignor Philipson, 
"that I should tempt thee to weigh them against 

13 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 33 

each other ! — Go on, then, my son — I follow 
thee." 

" Under your favour, dearest sir, no," replied 
the young man ; " it is enough to endanger the 
life of one — and mine, far the most worthless, 
should, by all the rules of wisdom as well as 
nature, be put first in hazard." 

" No, Arthur," replied his father, in a deter- 
mined voice; " no, my son— I have survived 
much, but I will not survive thee." 

" I fear not for the issue, father, if you per- 
mit me to go alone ; but I cannot-— dare not— 
undertake a task so perilous, if you persist in 
attempting to share it, with no better aid than 
mine. While I endeavoured to make a new ad- 
vance, I should be ever looking back to see how 
you should attain the station which I was about 
to leave — And bethink you, dearest father, that 
if I fall, I fall an unregarded thing, of as little 
moment as the rock or tree which has toppled 
headlong down before me. But you— should 
your foot slip, or your hand fail, bethink you 
what and how much must needs fall with you !" 

" Thou art right, my child," said the father. 

vol. i. c 


34 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

<( I still have that which binds me to life, even 
though I were to lose in thee all that is dear to 
me. — Our Lady and our Lady's Knight bless 
thee and prosper thee, my child ! Thy foot is 
young, thy hand is strong — thou hast not climb- 
<ed Plynlimmon in vain. Be bold, but be wary 
-remember there is a man who, failing thee, 
has but one act of duty to bind him to the earth, 
and, that discharged, he will soon follow thee/' 
The young man accordingly prepared for his 
journey, and, stripping himself of his cumbrous 
cloak, showed his well-proportioned limbs in a 
jerkin of grey cloth, which sat close to his per- 
son. The father's resolution gave way when his 
son turned round to bid him farewell. He re* 
called his permission, and in a peremptory tone 
forbade him to proceed. But without listening 
to the prohibition, Arthur had commenced his 
perilous adventure. Descending from the plat- 
form on which he stood, by the boughs of an old 
ash-tree, which thrust itself out of the cleft of a 
rock, the youth was enabled to gain, though at 
great risk, a narrow ledge, the very brink of the 
precipice, by creeping along which he hoped to 


ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 35 

pass on till he made himself heard or seen from 
the habitation, of whose existence the guide had 
informed him. His situation, as he pursued 
this bold purpose, appeared so precarious, that 
even the hired attendant hardly dared to draw 
breath as he gazed on him. The ledge which 
supported him seemed to grow so narrow as he 
passed along it, as to become altogether invisi- 
ble, while sometimes with his face to the pre* 
cipice, sometimes looking forward, sometimes 
glancing his eyes upward, but never venturing 
to east a look below, lest his brain should grow 
giddy at a sight so appalling, he wound his way 
onward. To his father and the attendant, who 
beheld his progress, it was less that of a man 
advancing in the ordinary manner, and resting 
by aught connected with the firm earth, than 
that of an insect crawling along the face of a 
perpendicular wall, of whose progressive move- 
ment we are indeed sensible, but cannot perceive 
the means of its support. And bitterly, most 
bitterly, did the miserable parent now lament, 
that he had not persisted in his purpose to en- 
counter the baffling and even perilous measure 


36 ANNS OF GEIERSTEIN. 

of retracing bis steps to the habitation of the 
preceding night* He should then, at least, hare 
partaken the fate of the son of his love. 

Meanwhile, the young man's spirits were 
strongly braced for the performance of his peril- 
ous task. He laid a powerful restraint on his 
imagination, which in general was sufficiently 
active, and refused to listen, even for an in* 
stant, to any of the horrible insinuations by 
which fancy augments actual danger. He en* 
deavoured manfully to reduce all around him 
to the scale of right reason, as the best sup- 
port of true courage. " This ledge of rock," 
he urged to himself, " is but narrow, yet it 
has breadth enough to support me ; these clifts 
and crevices in the surface are small and dis- 
tant, but the one affords as secure a resting- 
place to my feet, the other as available a grasp to 
my hands, as if I stood on a platform of a cubit 
broad, and rested my arm on a balustrade of 
marble. My safety, therefore, depends on my* 
self* If I move with decision, step firmly, and 
hold fast, what signifies how near I am to the 
mouth of an abyss ?' 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 37 

Thus estimating the extent of his danger by 
the measure of sound sense and reality, and sup- 
ported by some degree of practice in such ex* 
erase, the brave youth went forward on his 
awful journey, step by step, winning hid way 
with a caution, and fortitude, and presence of 
mind, which alone could have saved him from 
instant destruction. At length he gained a 
point where a projecting rock formed the angle 
of the precipice, so far as it had been visible 
to him from the platform. This, therefore, was 
the critical point of his undertaking ; but it was 
also the most perilous part of it. The rock pro- 
jected more than six feet forward over the tor- 
rent, which he heard raging at the depth of a 
hundred yards beneath, with a noise like sub- 
terranean thunder. He examined the spot with 
the utmost care, and was led by the existence 
of shrubs, grass, and even stunted trees* to be- 
lieve that this rock marked the farthest extent 
of the slip or slide of earth, and that, could he 
but round the angle of which it was the termina- 
tion, he might hope to attain the continuation of 
the path which had been so strangely interrupt-' 


38 ANNS OF GE1ER8TEIX* 

ed by this convulsion of nature. But the crag 
jutted out bo much as to afford no possibility 
of passing either under or around it ; and as it 
rose several feet above the position which Ar- 
thur had attained, it was no easy matter to climb 
over it This was, however, the course which he 
chose, as the only mode of surmounting what he 
hoped might prove the last obstacle to his voyage 
of discovery. A projecting tree afforded him the 
means of raising and swinging himself up to the 
top of the crag. But he had scarcely planted 
himself on it, had scarcely a moment to con- 
gratulate himself, on seeing, amid a wild chaos 
of cliffs and wood, the gloomy ruins of Geier- 
Btein, with smoke arising, and indicating some- 
thing like a human habitation beside them, 
when, to his extreme terror, he felt the huge 
cliff on which he stood, tremble, stoop slowly 
forward, and gradually sink from its position* 
Projecting as it was, and shaken as its equili- 
briuni had been by the recent earthquake, it lay 
now so insecurely poised, that its balance was 
entirely destroyed, even by the addition of the 
young man's weight 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTE1N. 39 

Aroused by the imminence of the danger,, 
Arthur, by an instinctive attempt at self-preser- 
vation, drew cautiously back from the falling 
crag into the tree by which he had ascended, and 
turned his head back as if spell-bound, to watch 
the descent of the fatal rock from which he had 
just retreated. It tottered for two or three 
seconds, as if uncertain which way to fall ; and 
had it taken a sidelong direction, must have 
dashed the adventurer from his place of refuge* 
or borne both the tree and him headlong down 
into the river. After a moment of horrible un- 
certainty, the power of gravitation determined 
a direct and forward descent. Down went 
the huge fragment, which must have weigh- 
ed at least twenty ton, rending and splintering 
in its precipitate course the trees and bushes 
which it encountered, and settling at length in 
the channel of the torrent, with a din equal to 
the discharge of a hundred pieces of artillery. 
The sound was re-echoed from bank to bank, 
from precipice to precipice, with emulative thun- 
ders ; nor was the tumult silent till it rose into 
the region of eternal snows, which, equally in- 


40 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

sensible to terrestrial sounds, and unfavourable 
to animal life, heard the roar in their majestic 
solitude, but suffered it to die away without a 
responsive voice* 

What, in the meanwhile, were the thoughts 
of the distracted father, who saw the ponderous 
rock descend, but could not mark whether his 
only son had borne it company in its dreadful 
fall ! His first impulse was to rush forward along 
4he face of the precipice, which he had seen Ar- 
thur so lately traverse ; and when the lad Anto- 
nio withheld him, by throwing his arms around 
him, he turned on the guide with the fury of a 
bear which has been robbed of her cubs. 

"Unhand me, base peasant," hct exclaimed, 
" or thou diest on the spot !" 

" Alas 1" said the poor boy, dropping on his 
knees before him, " I too have a father !" 

The appeal went to the heart of the traveller, 
who instantly let the lad go, and holding up his 
hands, and lifting his eyes towards heaven, said, 
in accents of the deepest agony, mingled with 
devout resignation, " Fiat voluntas tea! — he was 
my last, and loveliest, and best beloved, and 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTE1N. 41 

most worthy of my love ; and yonder," he added, 
" yonder over the glen soar the birds of prey, 
who are to feast on his young blood. — Bat I 
will see him once more," exclaimed the miser* 
able parent,' as the huge carrion vulture floated 
past him on the thick air,—" I will see my Ar- 
thur once more, ere the wolf and the eagle mangle 
him — I will see all of him that earth still holds* 
Detain me not — bat abide here, and watch me 
as I advance. If I fall, as is most likely, I charge 
you to take the sealed papers, which you will 
find in the vallise, and carry them to the person 
to whom they are addressed, with the least pos- 
sible delay. There is money enough in the purse 
to bury me with my poor boy, and to cause 
masses be said for our souls, and yet leave you 
a rich recompense for your journey." 

The honest Swiss lad, obtuse in his under- 
standing, but kind and faithful in his disposi- 
tion, blubbered as his employer spoke, and, afraid 
to offer farther remonstrance or opposition, saw 
his temporary master prepare himself to traverse 
the same fatal precipice, over the verge of which 
his ill-fated son had seemed to pass to the fate 


42 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

which, with all the wildness of a parent's an- 
guish, his father was hastening to share. 

Suddenly there was heard from beyond the 
fatal angle from which the mass of stone had 
been displaced by Arthur's rash ascent, the loud 
hoarse sound of one of those huge horns made 
out of the spoils of the urns, or wild bull, of 
Switzerland, which in ancient times announced 
the terrors of the charge of these mountaineers, 
and, indeed, served them in war instead of all 
musical instruments. , 

"Hold, sir, hold!" exclaimed the Orison, "yon- 
der is a signal from Geierstein. Some one will 
presently come to our assistance, and show us 
the safer way to seek for your son*— And look 
you— at yon green bush that is glimmering 
through the mist, Saint Antonio preserve me, 
as I see a white cloth displayed there ! it is just 
beyond the point where the rock fell." 

The father endeavoured to fix his eyes on the 
spot, but they filled so fast with tears, that they 
could not discern the object which the guide 
pointed out. — " It is all in vain," he said, dash- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 43 

ing the tears from his eyes—" I shall never see 
more of him than his lifeless remains." 

" Yon will— yon will see him in life !" said 
the Grison, " Saint Antonio wills it so — See, 
the white cloth waves again !" 

" Some remnant of his garments," said the 
despairing father, — " some wretched memorial 
of his fate. — No, my eyes see it not— I have be- 
held the fall of my house— would that the vul- 
tures of these crags had rather torn them from 
their sockets !" 

" Yet look again," said the Grison ; " the 
cloth hangs not loose upon a bough— I can see 
that it is raised on the end of a staff, and is 
distinctly waved to and fro. Your son makes 
a signal that he is safe." 

" And if it be so," said the traveller, clasp- 
ing his hands together, " bltssed be the eyes 
that see it, and the tongue that tells it ! If we 
find my son, and find him alive, this day shall * 
be a lucky one for thee too." 

" Nay," said the Grison, " I only ask that 
you will abide still, and act by counsel, and I 
will hold myself quit for my services. Only, it 


44 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

is not creditable to an honest lad to have people 
lose themselves by their own wilfulness; for 
the blame, after all, is sure to fall upon the 
guide, as if he could prevent old Pontius from 
shaking the mist from his brow, or banks of 
earth from slipping down into the valley at a 
time, or young hair-brained gallants from walk- 
ing upon precipices as narrow as the edge of a 
knife, or madmen, whose grey hairs might 
make them wiser, from drawing daggers like 
bravos in Lombardy." 

Thud the guide ran on, and in that vein he 
might have long continued, for Seignor Philip- 
son heard him not. Each throb of his pulse, 
each thought of his heart, was directed to- 
wards the object which the lad referred to as a 
signal of his son's safety. He became at length 
satisfied that the signal was actually waved by 
^ a human hand; and, as eager in the glow of re- 
viving hope, as he had of late been under the 
influence of desperate grief, he again prepared 
for the attempt of advancing towards his son, 
and assisting him, if possible, in regaining a 
place of safety. But the intreaties and reite- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTETN. 45 

rated assurances of his guide, induced him to 
pause. 

" Are you fit," he said, " to go on the crag ? 
Can you repeat your Credo and Ave without 
missing or misplacing a word ? for without that, 
our old men say your neck, had you a score of 
them, would be in danger. — Is your eye clear, 
and your feet firm ? — I trow the one streams 
like a fountain, and the other shakes like the 
aspen which overhangs it t Rest here till those 
arrive who are far more able to give your son 
help than either you or I are. I judge by 
the fashion of his blowing, that yonder is the 
horn of the Good-man of Geierstein, Arnold 
Biederman. He hath seen your son's, danger, 
and is even- now providing for his safety and 
ours. There are cases in which the aid of one 
stranger, well acquainted with* the country, is 
worth that of three brothers, who know not the 
crags." 

" But if yonder horn really sounded a signal," 
said the traveller, " how chanced it that my 
son replied not ?" 

« And if he did so, as is most likely he did," 


46 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

rejoined theGrison, " how should we have heard 
him ? The bugle of Uri itself sounded amid 
these horrible dins of water and tempest like 
the reed of a shepherd boy ; and how think you 
we should hear the holloa of a man ?" 

"Yet, methinks," said Seignor Philipson, " I 
do hear something amid this roar of elements 
which is like a human voice — but it is not Ar- 
thur's." 

1 " I wot well, no," answered the Grison ; 
" that is a woman's voice. The maidens will 
converse with each other in that manner, from 
cliff to cliff, through storm and tempest, were 
there a mile between." 

" Now, Heaven be praised for this providen~ 
tial relief," said Seignor Philipson ; " I trust we 
shall yet see this dreadful day safely ended. I 
will holloa in answer." 

He attempted to do so, but, inexperienced in 
the art of making himself heard in such a 
country, be pitched his voice in the same key 
with that of the roar of wave and wind; so that, 
even at twenty yards from the place where he 
was speaking, it must have been totally indis- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 47 

tinguishable from that of the elemental war 
around them. The lad smiled at bis patron's in- 
effectual attempts, and then raised his voice him- 
self in a high, wild, and prolonged scream, which, 
while produced with apparently much less ef- 
fort than that of the Englishman, was never- 
theless a distinct sound, separated from others 
by the key to which it was pitched, and was 
probably audible to a very considerable distance. 
It was presently answered by distant cries of the 
same nature, which gradually approached the 
platform, bringing renovated hope to the anx- 
ious traveller. 

If the distress of the father rendered his con- 
dition an object of deep compassion, that of 
the son, at the same moment, was sufficiently 
perilous* We have already stated, that Arthur 
Philipson had commenced his precarious jour- 
ney along the precipice, with all the coolness, re- 
solution, and unshaken determination of mind, 
which was most essential to a task where all 
must depend upon firmness of nerve. But the 
formidable accident which checked his onward 
progress, was of a character so dreadful, as 

5 


48 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

made him feel all the bitterness of a death, in- 
stant, horrible, and, as it seemed, inevitable. 
The solid rock had trembled and rent beneath 
his footsteps, and although, by an effort rather 
mechanical than voluntary, he had withdrawn 
himself from the instant ruin attending its de- 
scent, he felt as if the better part of him, his 
firmness of mind and strength of body, had been 
rent away with the descending rock, as it fell 
thundering, with clouds of dust and smoke, into 
the torrents and whirlpools of the vexed gulf 
beneath. In fact, the seaman swept from the 
deck of a wrecked vessel, drenched in the waves, 
and battered against the rocks on the shore, 
does not differ more from the same mariner, 
when, at the commencement of the gale, he 
stood upon the deck of his favourite ship, proud 
of her strength and his own dexterity, than Ar- 
thur, when commencing his journey, from the 
same Arthur, while clinging to the decayed trunk 
of an old tree, from which, suspended between 
heaven and earth, he saw the fall of the crag 
which he had so nearly accompanied. The ef- 
fects of his terror, indeed, were physical as well 


ANNE OF GKIKRSTEIN. 49 

as moral, for a thousand colours played before 
his eyes; he was attacked by a sick dJTOJness, 
and deprived at once of the obedience of those 
limbs which had hitherto served him so ad- 
mirably ; his arms and hands, as if no longer at 
his own command, now clung to the branches 
of the tree, with a cramp-like tenacity over 
which he seemed to possess no power, and now 
trembled in a state of such complete nervous 
relaxation, as led him to fear that they were 
becoming unable to support him longer in his 
position. 

An incident, in itself trifling, added to the dis- 
tress occasioned by this alienation of his powers. 
All living things in the neighbourhood had, as 
might be supposed, been startled by the tremen- 
dous fall to which his progress had given occa- 
sion. Flights of owls, bats, and other birds of 
darkness, compelled to betake themselves to the 
air, had lost no time in returning into their 
bowers of ivy, or the harbour afforded them by 
the rifts and holes of the neighbouring rocks. 
One of this ill-omened flight chanced to be a 
hmmergeier, or Alpine vulture, a bird larger 

VOL. i. d 


50 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

and more voracious than the eagle himself, and 
which Arthur had not been accustomed to see, 
or at least to look upon closely. With the in- 
stinct of most birds of prey, it is the custom of 
this creature, when gorged with food, to assume 
some station of inaccessible security, and there 
remain stationary and motionless for days toge- 
ther, till the work of digestion has been accom- 
plished, and activity returns with the pressure 
of appetite. Disturbed from such a state of re- 
pose, one of these terrific birds had risen from 
the ravine to which the species gives its name, 
and having circled unwillingly round, with a 
ghastly scream and a flagging wing, it had sunk 
down upon the pinnacle of a crag, not four yards 
from the tree in which Arthur held his preca- 
rious station. Although still in some degree 
stupified by torpor, it seemed encouraged by 
the motionless state of the young man to sup- 
pose him dead, or dying, and sat there and ga- 
zed at him, without displaying any of that ap- 
prehension which the fiercest animals usually 
entertain from the vicinity of man. 
As Arthur, endeavouring to shake off the in- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 51 

capacitating effects of his panic fear, raised his 
eyes to look gradually and cautiously around, 
he encountered those of the voracious and ob- 
scene bird, whose head and neck denuded of 
feathers, her eyes surrounded by an iris of an 
orange tawny colour, and a position more hori- 
zontal than, erect, distinguished her as much 
from the noble carriage and graceful propor- 
tion of the eagle, as those of the lion place him 
in £he ranks of creation above the gaunt, ra- 
venous, grisly, yet dastard wolf. 

As if arrested by a charm, the eyes of young 
Philipson remained bent on this ill-omened and 
ill-favoured bird, without his having the power 
to remove them* The apprehension of dangers, 
ideal as well as real, weighed upon his weaken- 
ed mind, disabled as it was by the circumstances 
of his situation. The near approach of a crea- 
ture not more loathsome to the human race, than 
averse to come within their reach, seemed as 
ominous as it was unusual. Why did it gaze on 
him with such glaring earnestness, projecting 
its disgusting form, as if presently to alight upon 
his person ? The foul bird, was she the demon 


52 ANNE OF GEIBRSTEIN. 

of the place to which her name referred? and 
did she come to exult, that an intruder on her 
haunts seemed involved amid their perils, with 
little hope or chance of deliverance ? Or was it 
a native vulture of the rocks, whose sagacity 
foresaw that the rash traveller was soon destined 
to become its victim ? Could the creature, whose 
senses are said to be so acute, argue from cir- 
cumstances the stranger's approaching death, 
and wait, like a raven or hooded crow by a dying 
sheep, for the earliest opportunity to commence 
her ravenous banquet? Was he doomed to feel 
its beak and talons before his heart's blood 
should cease to beat ? Had he already lost the 
dignity of humanity, the awe which the bring 
formed in the image of his Maker, inspires into 
all inferior creatures ? 

Apprehensions so painful served more than 
all that reason could suggest, to renew, in some 
degree, the elasticity of the young man's mind. 
By waving his handkerchief, using, however, 
the greatest precaution in his movements, he 
succeeded in scaring the vulture from his vi- 
cinity. It rose from its resting place, screaming 


J 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 53 

harshly and dolefully, and sailed on its expand- 
ed pinions to seek a place of more undisturbed 
repose, while the adventurous traveller felt a 
sensible pleasure at being relieved of its disgust- 
ing presence* 

With more collected ideas, the young man, 
who could obtain, from his position, a partial 
view of the platform he had left, endeavoured 
to testify his safety to his father* by displaying, 
as high as he could, the banner by which he 
had chased off the vulture. Like them, too, he 
heard, but at a less distance, the burst of the 
great Swiss horn, which seemed to announce 
some near succour. He replied by shouting and 
waving his flag, to direct assistance to the spot 
where it was so much required ; and, recalling 
his faculties, which had almost deserted him, 
he laboured mentally to recover hope, and with 
hope the means and motive for exertion. 

A faithful Catholic, he eagerly recommended 
himself in prayer to Our Lady of Einsiedlen, 
And, making vows of propitiation, besought her 
intercession, that he might be delivered from 
his dreadful condition. " Or, gracious Lady !" 


54 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

be concluded his orison, *« if it is my doom 
to lose my life like a hunted fox amidst this 
savage wilderness of tottering crags, restore at 
least my natural sense of patience and courage, 
and let not one who has lived like a man, 
though a sinful one, meet death like a titfiid 
hare !" 

Having devoutly recommended himself to 
that Protectress, of whom the legends of the 
Catholic Church form a picture so amiable, 
Arthur, though every nerve still shook with 
his late agitation, and his heart throbbed with 
a violence that threatened to suffocate him, turn- 
ed his thoughts and observation to the means of 
effecting his escape. But, as he looked around 
him, he became more and more sensible how 
much he was enervated by the bodily injuries 
and the mental agony which he had sustained 
during his late peril. He could not, by any 
effort of which he was capable, fix his giddy 
and bewildered eyes on the scene around him ; 
•—they seemed to reel till the landscape danced 
along with them, and a motley chaos of thickets 
and tall cliffs, which interposed between him 


ANNE OF GEIERSTfilM. 55 

and the ruinous Castle of Geierstein, mixed 
and whirled round in such confusion, that no- 
thing, save the consciousness that such an idea 
was the suggestion of partial insanity, prevent* 
ed him from throwing himself from the tree, 
as if to join the wild dance to which his dis- 
turbed brain had given motion. 

" Heaven be my protection !" said the unfor- 
tunate young man, closing his eyes, in hopes, 
by abstracting himself from the terrors of his 
situation, to compose his too active imagina- 
tion, " my senses are abandoning me !" 

He became still more convinced that this was 
the<case* when a female voice, in a high pitched 
but eminently musical accent, was heard at no 
great distance, as if calling to him* He opened 
his eyes once more, raised his head, and looked 
towards the place from whence the sounds seem- 
ed, to come, though far from being certain that 
they existed saving in his own disordered ima- 
gination. The vision which appeared had al- 

* 

most confirmed him in the opinion that his mind 
was unsettled, and his senses in no state to serve 
him accurately. 


5ft AKMS OF GK1ERSTEIN- 

Upon the vaty rommk of a pyranririical rock 
that rose out ©f Ike deptk of Ike volley, wu sees 
a female figure, so obscured by mist, that only 
the outUnoooold be traced. The form, reflected 
against the sky, appeared rather the undefined 
linen ments of a spirit than of a mortal maiden*; 
for her person s e em ed as light, and scarcely 
mors ofolps> than the thin cloud that sur- 
rouoded her pedestal* Arthur's first belief was, 
that the Virgin had heard his tows* and had 
descended in person to his rescue ; and he Was 
about to recite his Ave Maria, when the voice 
again called to him with the singular shrill 
modulation of the mountain baloe* by which 
the natives of the Alps can hold conference wkft 
each other from one mountain ridge to another^ 
across ravines of great depth and width. 

While he debated hew tot address this un- 
expected apparition, it disappeared' from the 
point whinh it at first occupied, and presently 
after became again visible, perched on the* cliff 
out of which, projected the tree in which Arthur 
had taken refuge* Her personal appearance, as 
well as her dress, made it then apparent that she 


ANME OF GEIERSTE1N. 57 

was a maiden of these mountains, familiar with 
their dangerous paths* He saw that a beautiful 
young woman stood before him, who regarded 
turn with a mixture of pity and wonder. 

" Stranger," she at length said, " who are 
you, and whence come you ?" 

" I am a stranger, maiden, as you justly 
term me," answered the young man, raising 
himself as well as he could* " I left Lucerne 
this morning, with my rather, and a guide* I 
'parted with them not three furlongs from 
hence* May it please you, gentle maiden, to 
warn them of my safety, for I know my father 
will bo in despair upon my account ?" 

" Willingly," said the maiden; "but I think 
my uncle* or some one of my kinsmen, must 
haive already found them, and will prove faith* 
ful guides* Canlnot aid you ?— *ere yoii wound- 
ed — are yon hurt ? We were alarmed by the 
fall of a rock— ay, and yonder it lies, a mass of 
no ordinary size*" 

As. the Swiss maiden spoke thus, she ap- 
proached so close to the verge of thepreeipice, 
and looked with such indifference into the gulf, 


58 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

that the sympathy which connects the actor and 
spectator upon such occasions brought back the 
sickness and vertigo from which Arthur had just 
recovered, and he sunk back into his former 
more recumbent posture, with something like 
a faint groan. 

" You are then ill T' said the maiden, who 
observed him turn pale — " Where and what is 
the harm you have received ?" 

" None, gentle maiden, saving some bruises 
of little import; but my head turns, and my 
heart grows sick, when I see you so near the 
verge of the cliff." 

" Is that all ?" replied the Swiss maiden. 
" Know, stranger, that I do not stand on my 
uncle's hearth with more security than I have 
«tood upon precipices, compared to which this 
is a child's leap. You, too, stranger, if, as I 
judge from the traces, you have come along the 
edge of the precipice which the earth-slide hath 
laid bare, ought to be far beyond such weak- 
ness, since surely you must be well entitled to 
call yourself a cragsman." 

"I might have called myself so half an hour 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 59 

since," answered Arthur ; " but I think I shall 
hardly venture to assume the name in future." 

" Be not downcast," said his kind adviser, 
" for a passing qualm, which will at times cloud 
the spirit and dazzle the eyesight of Hie bravest 
and most experienced. Raise yourself upon the 
trunk of the tree, and advance closer to the rock 
out of which it grows. Observe the place well* 
It is easy for you, when you have attained the 
lower part of the projecting stem, to gain by 
one bold step the solid rock upon which I stand, 
after which there is no danger or difficulty wor- 
thy of mention to a young man, whose limbs are 
whole, and whose courage is active." 

" My limbs are indeed sound," replied the 
youth ; " but I am ashamed to think how much 
my courage is broken. Yet I will not disgrace 
the interest you have taken in an unhappy wan- 
derer, by listening longer to the dastardly sug- 
gestions of a feeling, which till to-day has been 
a stranger to my bosom." 

The maiden looked on him anxiously, and 
with much interest, as, raising himself cautious- 
ly, and moving along the trunk of the tree, 


60 ANNE OF GE1EUSTEIN. 

which lay nearly horizontal from the rock, and 
seemed to bend as be changed his posture, the 
youth at length stood upright, within what, on 
level ground, had been but an extended stride 
to the cliff on which the Swiss maiden stood. 
But instead of being a step to be taken on the 
level and firm ground, it was one which must 
cross a dark abyss, at the bottom of which a 
torrent surged and boiled with incredible fury* 
Arthur's knees knocked against each other, his 
feet became of lead, and seemed no longer at 
his command ; and he experienced, in a strong- 
er degree than ever, that unnerving influence, 
which those who have been overwhelmed by it 
in a situation of like peril never can forget, and 
which others, happily strangers to its power, 
may have difficulty even in comprehending. 

The young woman discerned bis emotion, and 
foresaw its probable consequences. As the only 
mode in her power to restore his confidence, 
she sprung lightly from the rock to the stem of 
the tree, on which she alighted with the ease 
and security of a bird, and in the same instant 
back to the cliff; «nd extending her hand to the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 61 

stranger, " My arm," she said, " is bat a slight 
balustrade ; yet do but step forward with reso- 
lution, and you will find it as secure as the 
battlement of Berne." But shame now over- 
came terror so much, that Arthur, declining as- 
sistance which he could not have accepted with- 
out feeling lowered in his own eyes, took heart 
of grace, and successfully achieved the formi- 
dable step which placed him upon the same cliff 
with his kind assistant. 

To seize her hand and raise it to his lips, in 
affectionate token of gratitude and respect, was 
naturally the youth's first action ; nor was it pos- 
sible for the maiden to have prevented him from 
doing so, without assuming a degree of prudery 
foreign to her character, and occasion a ceremo- 
nious debate upon a matter of no great conse- 
quence, where the scene of action was a rock 
scarce five feet long by three in width. 


68 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


CHAPTER III. 


Caned be the gold and silver, which persuade 
Weak man to follow far fatiguing trade. 
The lily peace outshines the silver store ; 
And life is dearer than the golden ore. 
Yet money tempts us o'er the desert brown, 
To every distant mart and wealthy town. 

Hassan, or the Camel-driver. 


Arthur Philipson, and Anne of Geiers- 
tein, thus placed together in a situation which 
brought them into the closest possible conti- 
guity, felt a slight degree of embarrassment ; 
the young man, doubtless, from the fear of be- 
ing judged a poltroon in the eyes of the maiden 
by whom he had been rescued, and the young 
woman, perhaps, in consequence of the exertion 
she had made, or a sense of being placed sud- 
denly in a situation of such proximity to the 
youth whose life she had probably saved. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 63 

<* And now, maiden," said Arthur, "I must 
repair to my father. The life which I owe to 
your assistance, can scarce be called welcome 
to me* unless I am permitted to hasten to his 
rescue." 

He was here interrupted by another bugle- 
blast, which seemed to come from the quarter 
in which the elder Philipson and his guide had 
been left by their young and daring companion. 
Arthur looked in that direction ; but the plat- 
form, which he had seen but imperfectly from 
the tree, when he was perched in that place of 
refuge, was invisible from the rock on which 
they now stood. 

" It would cost me nothing to step back on 
yonder root," said the young woman, " to spy 
from thence whether I could see aught of your 
friends. But I am convinced they are under 
safer guidance than either yours or mine ; for 
the horn announces that my uncle, or some of 
my young kinsmen, have reached them. They 
are by this time on their way to the Geierstein, 
to which, with your permission, I will become 
your guide ; for you may be assured that my 

12 


64 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

uncle Arnold will not allow you to peas far- 
ther to-day ; and we shall but lose time by en- 
deavouring to find your friends, who, situated 
where you say you left them, will reqph the 
Geierstein sooner than we shall* Follow me, 
then, or I must suppose you weary of my gui- 
dance." 

" Sooner suppose me weary of the life which 
your guidance has in all probability saved," re- 
plied Arthur, and prepared to attend her; at 
the same time taking a view of her dress and 
person, which confirmed the satisfaction he had 
in following such a conductor, and which we 
shall take the liberty to detail somewhat more 
minutely than he could do at that time. 

An upper vest, neither so close as to display 
the person, a habit forbidden by the sumptuary 
laws of the canton, nor so loose as to be an in- 
cumbrance in walking or climbing, covered a 
close tunic of a different colour, and came down 
beneath the middle of the leg, but suffered the 
ancle, in all its fine proportions, to be com- 
pletely visible. The foot was defended by a san- 
dal, the point of which was turned upwards, and 

10 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 65 

the crossings and knots of the strings, which se- 
cured it on the front of the leg, were garnished 
with silver rings. The upper vest was gathered 
round the middle by a sash of party-coloured 
silk, ornamented with twisted threads of gold ; 
while the tunic, open at the throat, permitted 
the shape and exquisite whiteness of a well- 
formed neck to be visible at the collar, and for 
an inch or two beneath. The small portion of 
the throat and bosom thus exposed, was even 
more brilliantly fair than was promised by the 
countenance, which last bore some marks of 
having been freely exposed to the sun and air, 
by no means in a degree to diminish its beauty, 
but just so far as to show that the maiden pos- 
sessed the health which is purchased by ha- 
bits of rural exercise. Her long fair hair fell 
down in a profusion of curls on each side of a 
face, whose blue eyes, lovely features, and dig- 
nified simplicity of expression, implied at once 
a character of gentleness, and of the self-relying 
resolution of a mind too virtuous to suspect 
evil, and too noble to fear it. Above these locks, 
beauty's natural and most beseeming ornament 
VOL. i. e 


60 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

-—or rather, I should say, amongst them — was 
placed the small bonnet, which, from its size, 
little answered the purpose of protecting the 
head, but served to exercise the ingenuity of 
the fair wearer, who had not failed, according 
to the prevailing custom of the mountain maid- 
ens, to decorate the tiny cap with a heron's fea- 
ther, and the then unusual luxury of a small 
and thin chain of gold, long enough to encircle 
the cap four or five times, and having the ends 
secured under a broad medal of the same costly 
metal. 

I have only to add, that the stature of the 
young person was something above the com- 
mon size, and that the whole contour of her 
form, without being in the slightest degree 
masculine, resembled that of Minerva, rather 
than the proud beauties of Juno,, or the yield- 
ing graces of Venus. The noble brow, the well- 
formed and active limbs, the firm and yet light 
step — above all, the total absence of any thing 
resembling the consciousness of personal beau- 
ty, and the open and candid look, which seem- 
ed desirous of knowing nothing that was hidden, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 67 

and conscious that she herself had nothing to 
hide, were traits not unworthy of the goddess 
of wisdom and of chastity. 

The road which the young Englishman pur- 
sued, under the guidance of this beautiful young 
woman, was difficult and unequal, but could not 
be termed dangerous, at least in comparison to 
those precipices over which Arthur had recently 
passed. It was, in fact, a continuation of the 
path which the slip or slide of earth, so often 
mentioned, had interrupted; and although it had 
sustained damage in several places at the period 
of the same earthquake, yet there were marks of 
these having been already repaired in such a rude 
manner as made the way sufficient for the ne- 
cessary intercourse of a people so indifferent as 
the Swiss to smooth or level paths. The maid- 
en also gave Arthur to understand, that the pre- 
sent road took a circuit for the purpose of gain- w 
ing that on which he was lately travelling, and 
that if he and his companions had turned off at 
the place where this new track united with the 
old pathway, they would have escaped the dan- 


68 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

ger which had attended their keeping the road by 
the verge of the precipice. 

The path which they now pursued was rather 
averted from the torrent, though still within 
hearing of its sullen thunders, which seemed to 
increase as they ascended parallel to its course, 
till suddenly the road, turning short, and direct- 
ing itself straight upon the old castle, brought 
them within sight of one of the most splendid 
and awful scenes of that mountainous region. 

The ancient tower of Geierstein, though nei- 
ther extensive, nor distinguished by architectu- 
ral ornament, possessed an air of terrible dignity 
by its position on the very verge of the opposite 
bank of the torrent, which, just at the angle 
of the rock on which the ruins are situated, falls 
sheer over a cascade of nearly a hundred feet 
in height, and then rushes down the defile, 
through a trough of living rock, which per- 
haps its waves have been deepening since time 
itself had a commencement. Facing, and at 
the same time looking down upon this eternal 
roar of waters, stood the old tower, built so 
close to the verge of the precipice, that the but- 


ANNE OF GE1EUSTEIN. 69 

tresses with which the architect had strength- 
ened the foundation, seemed a part of the solid 
rock itself, and a continuation of its perpendi- 
cular ascent* As usual throughout Europe in 
the feudal times, the principal part of the build- 
ing was a massive square pile, the decayed 
summit of which was rendered picturesque, by 
flanking turrets of different sizes and heights, 
some round, some angular, some ruinous, some 
tolerably entire, varying the outline of the build- 
ding as seen against the stormy sky. 

A projecting sally-port, descending by a 
flight of steps from the tower, had in former 
times given access to a bridge connecting the 
castle with that side of the stream on which 
Arthur Philipson and his fair guide now stood. 
A single arch, or rather one rib of an arch, 
-consisting of single stones, still remained, and 
•spanned the river immediately in front of the 
waterfall. In former times this arch had ser- 
ved for the support of a wooden drawbridge, 
of more convenient breadth, and of such length 
and weight as must have been rather unma- 
nageable, had it not been lowered on some so- 


70 AXNE O* GEIEKSTEIN. 

lid resting place* It is true, the device was 
attended with this inconvenience, that even 
when the drawbridge was np, there remained 
a possibility of approaching the castle gate by 
means of this narrow rib of stone. Bat as it 
was not above eighteen inches broad, and could 
only admit the daring foe who shoifld traverse 
it, to a door-way, regularly defended by gate 
and portcullis, and having flanking turrets and 
projections, from which stones, darts, melt- 
ed lead, and scalding water, might be poured 
down on an enemy who should venture to ap- 
proach Geierstein by this precarious access, the 
possibility of such an attempt was not consider- 
ed as diminishing the security of the garrison. 
In the time we treat of, the castle being en- 
tirely ruined and dismantled, and the door, 
drawbridge, and portcullis gone, the dilapida- 
ted gateway, and the slender arch which con- 
nected the two sides of the stream, were used 
as a means of communication between the banks 
of the river, by the inhabitants of the neigh- 
bourhood, whom habit had familiarized with 
the dangerous nature of the passage. 


ANNE OF GK1ERSTEIN. 71 

Arthur Philipson had, in the meantime, like 
a good bow when new strung, regained the elas- 
ticity of feeling and character which was na- 
tural to him. It was not indeed with perfect 
composure that he followed his guide, as she 
tripped lightly over the narrow arch, composed, 
of rugged stones, and rendered wet and slippery 
with the perpetual drizzle of the mist issuing 
from the neighbouring cascade* Nor was it 
without apprehension that he found himself per- 
forming this perilous feat in the neighbourhood 
of the waterfall itself, whose deafening roar he 
could not exclude from his ears, though he took 
care not to turn his head towards its terrors, 
lest his brain should again be dizzied by the 
tumult of the waters as they shot forward from 
the precipice above, and plunged themselves in- 
to what seemed the fathomless gulf below. But 
notwithstanding these feelings of agitation, the 
natural shame to show cowardice where a beau- 
tiful young female exhibited so much indiffer- 
ence, and the desire to regain his character in 
the eyes of his guide, prevented Arthur from 
again giving way to the appalling feelings by 


72 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

which he had been overwhelmed a short time 
before* Stepping firmly on, yet cautiously sup- 
porting himself with his piked- staff, he traced 
the light footsteps of his guide along the bridge 
of dread, and followed her through the ruined 
sally-port, to which they ascended by stairs 
which were equally dilapidated. 

The gateway admitted them into a mass of 
ruins, formerly a sort of court-yard to the don- 
jon, which rose in gloomy dignity above the 
wreck of what had been works destined for 
external defence, or buildings for internal ac- 
commodation. They quickly passed through 
these ruins, over which vegetation had thrown 
a wild mantle of ivy, and other creeping shrubs, 
and issued from them through the main-gate of 
the castle into one of those spots in which Na- 
ture often embosoms her sweetest charms, in 
the midst of districts chiefly characterised by 
waste and desolation. 

The Castle in this aspect also rose considera- 
bly above the neighbouring ground, but the ele- 
vation of the site, which towards the torrent 
was an abrupt rock, was on this side a steep emi- 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 73 

nence, which had been scarped like a modern 
glacis, to render the building more secure. It 
was now covered with young trees and bushes, 
out of which the tower itself seemed to rise in 
ruined dignity. Beyond this hanging thicket 
the view was of a very different character. A 
piece of ground, amounting to more than a hun- 
dred acres, seemed scooped out of the rocks 
and mountains, which, retaining the same sa- 
vage character with the tract in which the tra- 
vellers had Men that morning bewildered, in- 
closed, and as it were defended, a limited space 
of a mild and fertile character. The surface of 
this little domain was considerably varied, but 
its general aspect was a gentle slope to the 
southwest. 

The principal objict which it presented was 
a large house, composed of huge logs, without 
any pretence to form or symmetry, but indica- 
ting, by the smoke which arose from it, as well 
as the extent of the neighbouring offices, and 
the improved and cultivated character of the 
fields around, that it was the abode, not of 
splendour certainly, but of ease and competence. 


74 ANNE OF GE1ERSTE1N. 

An orchard of thriving fruit-trees extended to 
the southward of the dwelling. Groves of wal- 
nut and chestnut grew in stately array, and 
even a vineyard, of three or four acres, showed 
that the cultivation of the grape was understood 
and practised. It is now universal in Switzer* 
land, but was, in those early days, almost exclu- 
sively confined to a few more fortunate pro- 
prietors, who had the rare advantage of uniting 
intelligence with opulent, or at least easy cir- 
cumstances. * 

There were fair ranges of pasture fields, into 
which the fine race of cattle which constitute the 
pride and wealth of the Swiss mountaineers, 
had been brought down from the more Alpine 
grazings where they had fed during the summer, 
to be near shelter and prelection when the au- 
tumnal storms might be expected. On some se- 
lected spots, the lamb&Tof the last season fed in 
plenty and security, and in others, huge trees, 
the natural growth of the soil, were suffered 
to remain, from motives of convenience proba- 
bly, that they might be at hand when timber 
was required for domestic use, but giving, at 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 75 

the same time, a woodland character to a scene 
otherwise agricultural* Through this mountain* 
paradise the course of a small brook might be 
traced, now showing itself to the sun, which 
had by this time dispelled the fogs, now in- 
timating its course, by its gently sloping banks, 
clothed in some places with lofty trees, or con- 
cealing itself under thickets of hawthorn and 
hut bushes. This stream, by a devious and 
gentle course, which seemed to indicate a reluc- 
tance to leave 9 this quiet region, found its way 
at length out of the sequestered domain, and, 
like a youth hurrying from the gay and tran- 
quil sports of boyhood into the wild career of 
active life, finally united itself with the boiste- 
rous torrent, which, breaking down tumultu- 
ously from the mountains, shook the ancient 
Tower of Geierstein as it rolled down the ad- 
jacent rock, and then rushed howling through 
the defile in which our youthful traveller had 
wellnigh lost his life. 

Eager as the younger Philipson was to rejoin 
his father, he could not help pausing for a mo- 
ment to wonder how so much beauty should be 


76 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

found amid such scenes of horror, and to look 
back on the Tower of Geierstein, and on the huge 
cliff from which it derived its name, as if to as* 
certain, by the sight of these distinguished land- 
marks, that he was actually in the neighbour- 
hood of the savage wild where he had encoun- 
tered so much danger and terror. Yet so nar- 
row were the limits of this cultivated farm, 
that it hardly required such a retrospect to sa- 
tisfy the spectator that the spot susceptible of 
human industry, and on which it* seemed that a 
considerable degree of labour had been bestow- 
ed, bore a very small proportion to the wilder- 
ness in which it was situated. It was on all 
sides surrounded by lofty hills, in some places 
rising into walls of rock, in others clothed with 
dark and savage forests «f the pine and the 
larch, of primeval antiquity. Above these, from 
the eminence on which the tower was situated, 
could be seen the almost rosy hue in which an 
immense glacier threw back the sun ; and, still 
higher over the frozen surface of that icy sea, 
arose, in silent dignity, the pale peaks of those 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 77 

countless mountains, on which the snow eter- 
nally rests. 

What we have taken some time to describe, 
occupied young Philipson only for one or two 
hurried minutes ; for on a sloping lawn, which 
was in front of the farm-house, as the man- 
sion might be properly styled, he saw five or 
six persons, the foremost of whom, from his 
gait, his dress, and the form of his cap, he 
could easily distinguish as the parent whom he 
hardly expected at one time to have again be* 
held. 

He followed, therefore, his conductress with 
a glad step, as she led the way down the steep 
ascent on which the ruined tower was situated. 
They approached the group whom Arthur had 
noticed, the foremost of which was his father, 
who hastily came forward to meet him, in com* 
pany with another person of advanced age, and 
stature wellnigh gigantic, and who, from his 
simple yet majestic bearing, seemed the wor- 
thy countryman of William Tell, Stauf bacher, 
Winkelried, and other Swiss worthies, whose 
stout hearts and hardy arms had, in the pre- 


78 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

ceding age, vindicated against countless hosts 
their personal liberty, and the independence of 
their country. 

With a natural courtesy, as if to spare the 
father and son many witnesses to a meeting 
which must be attended with emotion, the Lan- 
damman himself, in walking forward with die 
elder Philipson, signed to those by whom he 
was attended, all of whom seemed young men, 
to remain behind : — They remained accord- 
ingly, examining, as it seemed, die guide An- 
tonio, upon the adventures of the strangers. 
Anne, the conductress of Arthur Philipson, had 
but time to say to him, " Yonder old man is 
my uncle, Arnold Biederman, and these young 
men are my kinsmen," when the former, with 
the elder traveller, were close before them. The 
Landamman, with the same propriety of feeling 
which he had before displayed, signed to his 
niece to move a little aside ; yet while requi- 
ring fr#m her an account of her morning's ex- 
pedition, he watched the interview of the fa- 
ther and son with as much curiosity as his 
natural sense of complaisance permitted him to 


ANNE OF GKIERSTEIN. 79 

testify. It was #f a character different from 
what he had expected. 

We have already described the elder Philip- 
son as a father devotedly attached to his son, 
ready to rush on death when he had expected to 
lose him, and equally overjoyed at heart, doubt- 
less, to see him again restored to his affections. 
It might have been therefore expected, that the 
father and son would have rushed into each 
other's Arms, and such probably was the scene 
which Arnold Biederman expected to have wit- 
nessed. 

But the English traveller, in common with 
many of his countrymen, covered keen and 
quick feelings with much appearance of cold- 
ness and reserve, and thought it a weakness to 
give unlimited sway even to the influence of the 
most amiable and most natural emotions. Emi- 
nently handsome in youth, his countenance, 
still fine in his more advanced years, h&d an 
expression which intimated an unwillingness 
either to yield to passion or encourage confi- 
dence. His pace, when he first beheld his son, 
had been quickened, by the natural wish to meet 

16 


80 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

him ; but he slackened it as they drew near to 
each other, and when they met, said in a tone 
rather of censure and admonition, than affec- 
tion, — " Arthur, may the Saints forgive the 
pain thou hast this day given me." 

" Amen," said the youth. " I must need 
pardon since I have given you pain. Believe, 
however, that I acted for the best." 

" It is well, Arthur, that in acting for the 
best, according to your froward will, you have 
not encountered the worst." 

" That I have not," answered the son, with 
the same devoted and patient submission, " is 
owing to this maiden," pointing to Anne, who 
stood at a few papes' distance, desirous perhaps 
of avoiding to witness the reproof of the father, 
which might seem to her rather ill-timed and 
unreasonable. 

" To the maiden my thanks shall be render* 
ed," said his father, " when I can study how 
to pay them in an adequate manner ; but is it 
well or comely, think you, that you should re- 
ceive from a maiden the succour which it is 

your duty as a man to extend to the weaker sex ?" 

11 


ANNE OF GEIKRSTEIN. 81 

Arthur held down his head and blushed deep* 
ly, while Arnold Biederman, sympathizingwith 
his feelings, stepped forward and mingled in the 
conversation. 

" Never be abashed, my young guest, that 
yon have been indebted for aught of counsel or 
assistance to a maiden of Unterwalden. Know 
that the freedom of their country owes no less 
to the firmness and wisdom of her daughters 
than to that of her sons.-— And you, my elder 
guest, who have, I judge, seen many years, and 
various lands, must have often known exam- 
ples how the strong are saved by the help of the 
weak, the proud by the aid of the humble." 

" I have, at least learned," said the English- 
man, " tot debate no point unnecessarily with 
the host who has kindly harboured me ;" and 
after one glance at his son, which seemed to 
kindle with the fondest affection, he resumed, 
as the party turned back towards the house, a 
conversation which he had been maintaining 
with his new acquaintance before Arthur and 
the maiden had joined them. 

Arthur had in the meantime an opportunity 

VOL. I. F 


82 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

of observing the figure and features of their 
Swiss landlord, which, I have already hinted, 
exhibited a primeval simplicity mixed with a cer- 
tain rude dignity, arising out of its masculine 
and unaffected character. The dtess did not 
greatly differ in form from the habit of the fe- 
male which we hare described. It consisted of 
an upper frock, shaped like the ^modern shirt, 
and only open at the bosom, worn above a tu- 
nic or under doublet. But the man's rest was 
considerably shorter in the skirts, which did not 
eome lower down than the kilt of the Scottish 
Highlander; a species of boots or buskins rose 
above the knee, and the person was thus entirely 
elothed. A bonnet made of the fur of the mar- 
ten, and garnished with a silver medal, was the 
only part of the dress which displayed any thing 
like ornament; the broad belt which gathered 
the garment together, was of buff leather, se- 
cured by a large brass buckle. 

But the figure of him who wore this homely 
attire, which seemed almost wholly composed 
of the fleeces of the mountain sheep, and the 
spoils of animals of the chase, would have com- 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 83 

maaded respect wherever the wearer had pre* 
seated himself, especially in those warlike daysy 
when men were judged of according to. the 
promising or unpromising qualities of their 
thews and sinews* To those who. looked at 
Arnold Biederman iri this point of view, he dis- 
played the size and form, the broad shoulders 
and prominent muscles of a Hercules. . But 
to such as looked rather at his countenance, 
the steady sagacious features, open front, large 
olue eyes, and deliberate resolution which k ex- 
pressed, more resembled the character of the 
fabled King of Gods and Men. He was attend-* 
ed by several sons and relatives, young men, 
among whom he walked, receiving, as his unde- 
niable due, respect and obedience, similar to that 
which a herd of deer are observed to render to 
the monarch stag. 

While Arnold Biederman walked and spoke 
with the elder stranger, the young men seemed 
closely to scrutinize Arthur, and occasionally 
interrogated in whispers their relation Anne, re- 
ceiving from her brief and impatient answers, 
which rather excited than appeased the vein of 


84 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

merriment In which the mountaineers indulged, 
very much, as it seemed to the young English- 
man, at the expense of their guest. To feel 
himself exposed to derision was not softened by 
the reflection, that in such a society, it would 
probably be attached to all who could not tread 
on the edge of a precipice with a step as firm 
and undismayed as if they walked the street of 
a city. However unreasonable ridicule may be, 
it is always unpleasing to be subjected to it, but 
more particularly is it distressing to a young 
man, where beauty is a listener. It was some con* 
eolation to Arthur that he thought the maiden 
certainly did not enjoy the jest, and seemed by 
word and look to reprove the rudeness of her 
companions ; but this he feared was only from a 
sense of humanity. 

She, too, must despise me, he thought, though 
civility* unknown to these ill-taught boors, has 
enabled her to conceal contempt under the guise 
efpity. She can but judge of me from that which 
she has seen— if she could know me better, (such 
was his proud thought,) she might perhaps rank 
me more highly. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 85 

As the travellers entered the habitation of Ar- 
nold Biederman, they found preparations made 
in a large apartment, which served the purpose 
of general accommodation, for ahomelybut plen- 
tiful meal* A glance round the walls showed 
the implements of agriculture and the chase ; 
but the eyes of the elder Philipson rested upon* 
leathern corselet, a long heavy halbert, and a 
two-handed sword, which were displayed as a 
sort of trophy/ Near these, but covered with 
dust, unfurbished and neglected, hung a hel- 
met, with a visor, such as was used by knights 
and men-at-arms. The golden garland, or co- 
jonal twisted around it, though sorely tarnish- 
ed, indicated noble birth and rank; and the 
crest, which was a vulture of the species which 
gave name to the old castle and its adjacent 
cliff, suggested various conjectures to the Eng- 
lish guest, who, acquainted in a great measure 
with the history of the Swiss revolution, made 
little doubt that in this relic he saw some tro- 
phy of the ancient warfare between the inhabi- 
tants of these mountains, and the feudal lord to 
whom they .had of yore appertained. 


86 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

A summons to the hospitable board disturbed 
the train of the English merchant's reflections ; 
and a large company, comprising the whole 
inhabitants of every description that lived un» 
der Biedennan's roof, sate down to a plenti- 
ful repast of goat's flesh, fish, preparations of 
milk of various kinds, cheese, and* for the upper 
mess, the venison of a young chamois. The 
Landammau himself did the honours of the ta- 
ble withgreat kindness and simplicity, and urged 
the strangers to show, by their appetite, that 
they thought themselves as welcome as he dee- 
sired to make them. During the repast, he 
carried on a conversation with his elder guest, 
while the younger people at table, as well as 
the menials, ate in modesty and silence. Ere 
the dinner was finished, a figure crossed on the 
outside of the large window which lighted the 
eating hall, the sight of which seemed to occasion 
a lively sensation amongst such as observed it. 

" Who passed ?" said old Biederman to those 
seated opposite to the window. 

" It is our cousin, Rudolph of Donnerhugel," 
answered one of Arnold's sons eagerly. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 87 

The annunciation seemed to give great plea- 
sure to the younger part of the company, es- 
pecially the sons of the Landamman ; while the 
head of the family only said with a grave, calm 
voice,—" Your kinsman is welconie— tell him 
so, and let him come hither." 

Two or three arose for this purpose, as if 
there had been a contention among them who 
should do the honours of the house to the new 
guest He entered presently ; a young man, un- 
usually tall, well-proportioned and active, with 
a quantity of dark-brown locks curling around 
his face, together with mustachios of the same* 
or rather a still darker hue. His cap was 
small considering the quantity of his thickly 
clustering hair, and rather might be said to 
hang upon one side of his head than to cover 
it His clothes were of the same form and ge- 
neral. fashion as those of Arnold, but made of 
much finer cloth, the manufacture of the Ger- 
man loom, and ornamented in a rich and fan* 
ciful manner. One sleeve of his vest was dark 
green, curiously laced and embroidered with 
devices in silver, while the rest of the garment 


88 ANNS OF GEIERSTE1N. 

was scarlet. His sash was twisted and netted 
with gold, and besides answering the purpose 
of a belt, by securing the upper garment round 
his waist, sustained a silver-bilted poniard. His 
finery was completed by boots, the tips of which 
were so long as to turn upwards with a peak, 
after a prevailing fashion in the Middle Ages. A 
golden chain hung round his neck, and sustain* 
ed a large medallion of the same metal. 

This young gallant was instantly surround- 
ed by the race of Biederman, among whom he 
appeared to be considered as the model upon 
which the Swiss youth ought to build themselves, 
and whose gait, opinions, dress, and manners, 
all ought to follow, who would keep pace with 
the fashion of the day, in which he reigned an 
acknowledged and unrivalled example. 

By two persons in the company, however, it 
seemed to Arthur Philipson, that this young 
man was received with less distinguished marks 
of regard than those with which he was hailed 
by the general voice of the youths present. Ar- 
nold Biederman himself was at least no way 
warm in welcoming the young Bernese, for 


ANNE OF OEiERSTEIN. 89 

such was Rudolph's country. The young mam 
drew from his bosom a sealed packet, which he 
delivered to the Landaraman with demonstra- 
tions of great respect, and seemed to expect that 
Arnold, when he had broken the seal and per- 
used the contents, would say something to him 
on the subject. But the patriarch only bade 
him be seated, and partake of their meal, and 
Rudolph found a place accordingly next to 
Anne of Geierstein, whieh was yielded to him by 
one of the sons of Arnold with ready courtesy. 
It seemed also to the observant young Eng- 
lishman, that the new corner was received with 
marked coldness by the maiden, to whom he ap- 
peared eager and solicitous to pay his compli- 
ments, by whose side he had contrived to seat 
himself at the well-furnished board, and to 
whom he seemed more anxious to recommend 
himself, than to partake of the food which it of- 
fered. He observed the gallant whisper her, and 
look towards him. Anne gave a very brief re- 
ply, but one of the young Biedermans, who sat 
on his other hand, was probably more commu- 
nicative, as the youths both laughed, and the 


9G AN*E OF GEIEftSTCIN* 

maiden again seemed disconcerted, and blushed 
with displeasure*. 

Had I either, of these sons *)f the mountain, 
thought young Philipson, upon six yards of le- 

4." 

vd. greensward, if there be so much flat ground 
in this country, methinks I were more likely 
to spoil their mirth, than to furnish food for it 
It is as marvellous to. see such conceited boors 
under the same roof with .so courteous and 
amiable a damsel, as it. would be to see one of 
their shaggy bears dance arigadoon withamaidr 
en like the daughter of tour host. Well, I need 
not concern myself more than I can help about 
her beauty or their breeding, since morning 
will separate me from them for ever* 

As these reflections passed through the young 
guest's mind, the father of the family called for 
a cup of wine, and having required the two 
strangers to pledge him in a maple cup of consi- 
derable size, he sent a similar goblet to Rudolph 
DonnerbugeL " Yet you," he said, " kinsman^ 
are us6d to more highly flavoured wine than 
the h&lf-ripened grapes of Geierstein cansuj*- 
ply.— Would you think it^sir merchant," he cmt- 


AMNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 91 

■ 

tinned, addressing PfeHipsoh, " there are burgh* 

in? 

era of Berne who send for wine for their oWn 
drinking both to Frahce and Germany ?" 
. " My kinsman disapproves of that," replied 
Rudolph ; " yet every place is not blessed with 
vineyards like Geierstein, which produces 'all 
that heart and eye can desire." This was said 
with a glance at his fair companion, who did 
not appear to take the compliment, while the 
envoy of Berne proceeded : " Bnt our weal- 
thier burghers having some superfluous crowns, 
think it no extravagance to barter them for a 
goblet of better wine than our own mountains 
can produce. But we will be more frugal when 
we have at our disposal tuns of the wine of Bur- 
gundy for the mere trouble of transporting 
them." 

" How mean you by that, cousin Rudolph ?" 
said Arnold Biedermair. 

" Methinks, respected kinsman," answered 
the Bernese, " your letters must have told you 
that our Diet is likely to declare war against 
Burgundy." 

" Ah ? and you know then the contents of my 


92 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

letters?" said Arnold; "another mark how 
times are changed at Berne and with the Diet of 
Switzerland. When did all her grey-haired 
statesmen die, that our allies should have 
brought beardless boys into their councils?*' 

" The Senate of Berne, and the Diet of the 
Confederacy/ 9 said the young man, partly 
abashed, partly in vindication of what he had 
before spoken, " allow the young men to know 
their purposes, since it is they by whom they 
must be executed. The head whieh thinks, may 
well confide in the hand that strikes. 9 ' 

" Not till the moment of dealing the blow, 
young man, 99 said Arnold Biederman, sternly. 
" What kind of counsellor is he who talks 
loosely the secrets of state affairs before women 
and strangers ? Go, Rudolph, and all of ye, and 
try by manly exercises which is best fitted to 
serve your country, rather than give your 
judgment upon her measures.— Hold, young 
man, 99 he continued, addressing Arthur, who 
had arisen, " this does not apply to you, who 
are unused to mountain travel, and require rest 
after it." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 93 

" Under your favour, sir, not so," said the 
elder stranger ;• " we hold in England, that the 
best refreshmcntafter we havebeen exhausted by 
one species of exercise, is to betake ourselves to 
another ; as riding, for example, affords more 
relief to one fatigued by walking, than a bed of 
down' would. So, if your young men will per- 
mit, my son will join their exercises." 
, " He will find them rough playmates," an- 
swered the Switzer y " but be it at your plea* 
sure." 

The young men went out accordingly to the 
open lawn in front of the house. Anne of 
Geierstein, and some females of the household, 
sate down on a bank to judge which perform- 
ed best, and shouts, loud laughing, and all that 
announces the riot of juvenile spirits occupied 
by manly sports, was soon after beard by the two 
seniors, as they sat together in the hall. The 
master of the house resumed the wine-flask, 
and having filled the cup of his guest, poured 
the remainder into his own. 

" At an age, worthy stranger," he said, 
" when the blood grows colder, and the feelings 


94 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

heavier, a moderate cup of wine brings back 
light thought*, and makes the limbs supple. Yet, 
I almost wish that Noah had never planted thai 
grape, when of late years I have seen with my 
own eyes my countrymen swill wine like very 
Germans, till they were like gorged swine, in* 
capable of sense, thought, or motion." 

" It is a vice," said the Englishman, " which 
I have observed gains ground in your country, 
where within a century I have heard it was to- 
tally unknown." 

" It was so," said the Swiss, " for wine was 
seldom made at home, and never imported from 
abroad; for indeed none possessed the means 
of purchasing that, or aught else, which our 
valleys produce not. But our wars and our 
victories have gained us wealth as well as fame ; 
and in the poor thoughts of one S witzer at least, 
we had been better without both, had we not 
also gained liberty by the same exertion. It is 
something, however, that commerce may oc- 
casionally send into our remote mountains a sen- 
sible visitor like yourself, worthy guest, whose 
discourse shows him to be a man of sagacity 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 95 

and discernment ; for though I love not the in- 
creasing taste for trinkets and gewgaws which 
yon merchants introduce, yet I acknowledge 
that we simple mountaineers learn from men 
like you more of the world around us, than 
we could acquire by our own exertions* You 
are bound, you say, to Bale, and thence to the 
Duke of Burgundy's leaguer ?" 

" I am so, my worthy host — " said the mer- 
chant, " that is, providing I can perform my 
journey with safety." 

" Your safety, good friend, may be assured, 
if you list to tarry for two or three days; for in 
that space I shall myself take the journey, and 
with such an escort as will prevent any risk of 
danger* You will find in me a sure and faith- 
fill gride, and I shall learn from you much of 
other countries, which it concerns me to know 
better than I do* Is it a bargain ?" 

" The proposal is too much to my advantage 
to be refused," said the Englishman ; " but may 
I ask the purpose of your journey ?" 

" I chid yonder boy but now," answered 
Bieder man, " for speaking on public affairs with~ 

3 


96 ANNE OV GElERSTEItf. 

out reflection, and before the whole family ; but 
our tidings and my errand need not be conceal- 
ed from a considerate person like you, who must 
indeed soon learn it from public rumour. You 
know doubtless the mutual hatred which sub- 
sists between Louis XL of France, and Charles 
of Burgundy, whom men call the Bold ; and 
having seen these countries, as I understood from 
your former discourse, you are probably well 
aware of the various contending interests, which, 
besides the personal hatred of the sovereigns, 
make them irreconcilable enemies* Now Louis, 
whom the world cannot match for craft and 
subtlety, is using all his influence, by distribu* 
tions of large sums amongst some of the coun- 
sellors of our neighbours of Berne, by pouring 
treasures into the exchequer of that state itself, 
by holding out the bait of emolument to the old 
men, and encouraging the violence of the young, 
to urge the Bernese into a war with the Duke. 
Charles, on the other hand, is acting as he fre- 
quently does, exactly as Louis could have wished. 
Our neighbours and allies of Berne do not, like 
us of the Forest Cantons, confine themselves to 

is 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 97 

pasture or agriculture, but carry on considerable 
commerce, which the Duke of Burgundy has in 
various instances interrupted, by the exactions 
and violence of his officers in the frontier towns, 
as is doubtless well known to you/' 

" Unquestionably," answered the merchant ; 
" they are universally regarded as vexatious." 

" You will not then be surprised, that, solicited 
by the one sovereign, and aggrieved by the 
ether, proud of past victories, and ambitious 
of additional power, Berne and the City Cantons 
of our confederacy, whose representatives, from 
their superior wealth and better education, have 
more to- say in our Diet than we of the Forests, 
should be bent upon war, from which it has 
hitherto happened that the Republic has always 
derived victory, wealth, and increase of terri- 
tory." 

** Ay, worthy host, and of glory," said Philip- 
son, interrupting him with some enthusiasm ; 
" I wonder net that the brave youths of your 
states are willing to thrust themselves upon new 
wars, since their past victories have been so 
brilliant and so far famed." 

VOL. i. g 


98 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

" You are no wise merchant, kind guest," 
answered the host, " if you regard success in 
former desperate undertakings as an encourage- 
ment to future rashness. Let us make a better 
use of past victories. When we fought for our 
liberties God blessed our arms ; but will he do 
so if we fight either for aggrandizement or for 
the gold of France ?" 

" Your doubt is just," said the merchant, 
more sedately ; " but suppose you draw the 
sword to put an end to the vexatious exactions 
of Burgundy ?" 

" Hear me, good friend," answered the Switzer ; 
" it may be that we of the Forest Cantons think 
too little of those matters of trade, which so much 
engross the attention of the burghers of Berne. 
Yet we will not desert our neighbours and allies 
in a just quarrel ; and it is wellnigh settled that 
a deputation shall be sent to the Duke of Bur- 
gundy to request redress. In this embassy the 
General Diet now assembled at Berne have re- 
quested that I should take some share; and 
hence the journey in which I propose that you 
should accompany me." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 99 

u It will be much to my satisfaction to travel 
in your company, worthy host," said the Eng- 
lishman. " But, as I am a true man, methlnks 
your port and figure resemble an envoy of de- 
fiance rather than a messenger of peace/* 

" And I too might say," replied the Switzer, 
" that your language and sentiments, my ho- 
noured guest, rather belong to the sword than 
the measuring wand." 

" I was bred to the sword, worthy sir, before 
I took the cloth-yard in my hand," replied 
Philipson, smiling, " and it may be I am still 
more partial to my old trade than wisdom would 
altogether recoinmend." 

" I thought so," said Arnold ; " but then you 
fought most likely under your country's ban- 
ners against a foreign and national enemy ; and 
in that case I will admit that war has something 
in it which elevates the heart above the due 
sense it should entertain of the calamity in- 
flicted and endured by God's creatures on each 
side. But the warfare in which I was engaged 
had no such gilding. It was the miserable war 
of Zurich, where Switzers levelled their pikes 


100 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

against the bosoms of their own countrymen ; 
and quarter was asked and refused in the samer 
kindly mountain language. From such remem-* 
brances, your warlike recollections are proba-* 
blyfree." 

, The merchant hung down his head and press- 
ed his forehead with his .hand, as one to whom 
the most, painful thoughts were suddenly re- 
called. 

" Alas !" he said, " I deserve to feel the pain 
which your words inflict. What nation can 
know the woes of England, that has not felt 
them — what eye can estimate them which has 
not seen a land torn and bleeding, with the 
strife of two desperate factions, battles fought 
in every province, plains heaped with slain, and 
scaffolds drenched in blood ! Even in your quiet 
valleys, methinks, you may have heard of the 
Civil Wars of England ?" 

" I do indeed bethink me," said the Switzer, 
" that England had lost her possessions in France 
during many years of bloody internal wars con- 
cerning the colour of a rose — was it not ? — But 
these are ended." 



ANNE OF OEIERSTEIN. 101 

"" For the present," answered Philipson, « it 
would seem so/' 

As he spoke, there was a knock at the door; 
the master of the house said, " Come in ;" the 
door opened, and, with the reverence which was 
expected from young persons towards their eld- 
ers in those pastoral regions, the fine form of 
Anne of Geierstein presented itself* 


103 XNNE OF OEIEttSTEIN. 


CHAPTER IV. 


And now the well-known bow the master bore, 
Turn'd on all sides, and view'd It o'er and o'er ; 
Whilst some deriding, " How he tarns the bow ! 
Some other like it sure the man must know ; 
Or else would copy— or In bows he deals ; 
Perhaps he makes them, or perhaps be steals.** 

Popb's Homer's Odytte&. 


The fair maiden approached with the half- 
bashful half-important look which sits so well 
on a young housekeeper, when she is at once 
proud and ashamed of the matronly duties she is 
called upon to discharge, and whispered some- 
thing in her uncle's ear. 

" And could not the idle-pated boys have 
brought their own errand — what is it they want 
that they cannot ask themselves, but must send 
thee to beg it for them ? Had it been any thing 
reasonable, I should have heard it dinned into 




ANNE OF GEIER6TEIN. 103 


my ears by forty voices, so modest are oar 
yoaths become now-a-days.". She stooped for- 
ward, and again whispered in his ear, as he fondly 
stroked her curling tresses with his ample hand, 

and replied, " The bow of Buttisholz, my dear ? 

♦ 

why the youths surely are not grown stronger 
since last year, when none of them could bend 
it ? But yonder it hangs with its three arrows. 
Who is the wise champion that is challenger at 
a game where he is sure to be foiled ?" 

" It is this gentleman's son, sir," said the 
maiden, " who, not being able to contend with 
my cousins in running, leaping, hurling the bar, 
or pitching the stone, has challenged them to 
ride, or to shoot with the English long-bow." 

" To ride," said the venerable Swiss, " were 
difficult, where there are no horses, and no 
level ground to career Upon if there were* But 
an English bow he shall have, since we happen 
to possess one. Take it to the young men, my 
niece, with the three arrows, and say to them 
from me, that he who bends it will do more than 
William Tell, or the renowned Stauffacher, could 
have done." 


104 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

; As the maiden went to take the weapon from 
the place where it hung amid the group of arms 
which Philipson had formerly remarked, the 
English merchant observed, " that were the 
minstrels of his land to assign her occupation, so 
fair a maiden should be bow-bearer to none but 
the little blind god Cupid." 

« I will have nothing of the blind god Cupid," 
said Arnold, hastily, yet half laughing at the 
same tinle ; " we have been. deafened with tne 
foolery of minstrels and strolling minnesingers, 
ever since the wandering knaves have found 
there were pence to be gathered among us. A 
Swiss mriden should only sing Albert Ischudi'. 
ballads, or the merry lay of the going out and 
return of the cows to and from the mountain 
pastures." 

While he spoke, the damsel had selected from 
the arms a bow of extraordinary strength,, con- 
siderably above six feet in length, with three 
shafts of a cloth-yard long. Philipson asked 
to look at the weapons, and examined them 
closely. " It is a tough piece of yew," he said. 
" I should know it, since I have dealt in such 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 105 

commodities in my time ; bat when I was of 
Arthur's age, I could have bent it as easily as 
a boy bends a willow." 

" We are too old to boast like boys,' 1 said 
Arnold Biederman, with something of a repro- 
ving glance at his companion.' " Carry the bow 
to thy kinsmen, Anne, and let him who can bend 
it, say he beat Arnold Biederman.". As he spoke, 
he turned his eyes on the spare, yet muscular 
figure of the Englishman, then again glanced 
down on his own stately person. 
? " You* must remember, good my host," said 
Pbilipso'n, " that weapons, are wielded not by 
strength, but by art and sleight of hand. What 
most I wonder at, is to see in this place a bow 
made by Matthew of Doncaster, a bowyer who 
lived at least a hundred years ago, remarkable 
for the great toughness and strength of the wea- 
pons which he made, and which are now become 
somewhat unmanageable, even by an English 
yeoman." 

, " How are you assured of the maker's name, 
worthy guest?" replied the Swiss. , . 

, " By old Matthew's mark," answered the 


106 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

Englishman, "and his initials cat upon the 
bow* I wonder not a little to find such a wea- 
pon here, and in such good preservation." 

" It has been regularly waxed, oiled, and 
kept in good order," said the Landamman, 
" being preserved as a trophy of a memorable 
day. It would but grieve you to. recount its 
early history, since it was taken in a day fatal 
to your country." 

" My country," said the Englishman, com* 
posedly, " has gained so many victories, that 
her children may well afford to hear of a single 
defeat. But I knew not that the English ever 
warred in Switzerland." 

" Not precisely as a nation," answered Bie- 
derman ; " but it was in my grandsire's days, 
that a large body of roving soldiers, composed 
of men from almost all countries, but especial* 
ly Englishmen, Normans, and Gascons, poured 
down on the Argau, and the districts adjacent. 
They were headed by a great warrior called 
Ingelram de Couci, who pretended some claims 
upon the Duke of Austria ; to satisfy which, he 
ravaged indifferently the Austrian territory, 


ANNE OF GBIERSTEIN. 107 

and that of our Confederacy. His soldiers were 
hired warriors, — Free Companions they called 
themselves,— -that seemed to belong to no coun- 
try, and were as brave in the fight as they were 
cruel in their depredations* Some pause in the 
constant wars betwixt France and England had 
deprived many of those bands of their ordinary 
employment, and battle being their element, 
they came to seek it among our valleys* The 
air seemed on fire with the blaze of their ar- 
mour, and the very sun was darkened at the 
flight of their arrows. They did us much evil, 
and we sustained the loss of more than one bat- 
tle* But we met them at Buttisholz, and min- 
gled the blood of many a rider (noble, as they 
were called and esteemed) with that of their 
horses. The huge mound that covers the bones 
of man and steed, is still called the English bar- 
row." 

Philipson was silent for a minute or two, and 
then replied, " Then let them sleep in peace* If 
they did wrong, they pai<J for it with their lives ; 
and that is all the ransom that mortal man can 


f 

) 
108 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


render for his transgressions.— -Heaven pardon 
their souls !" 

" Amen," replied the Landamman, "and those 
of all brave men. My grandsire was at the bat- 
tle, and was held to have demeaned himself 
like a good soldier; and thi» bow has been ever* 
since carefully preserved in our family. There 
is a prophecy about it, but I hold it not worthy 
of remark." 

Philipson was about to inquire further, but 
was interrupted by a loud cry of surprise and 
astonishment from without. 

" I must out," said Biederman, " and see 
-what these wild lads are doing. It is not now 
as formerly in this land, when the young dared 
not judgefor themselves, till the old man's voice 
had been heard." 

• He went forth from the lodge, followed by 
bis guest. The company who 1 had witnessed 
the games were all talking, shouting, and dis- 
puting in the same breath ; while Arthur Phi- 
lipson stood a little apart from the rest, leaning 
on the unbent bow with apparent indifference. 
At the sight of the Landamman all were silent. 


ANNE OF GE1KRSTEIN. 109 

- " What means this unwonted clamour?" he 
said 9 raising a voice to which all were accus- 
tomed, to listen with reverence. — " lludiger," 
addressing the eldest of his sons, " has the young 
stranger bent the bow ?" 
"' " He has, father," said Rudiger ; " and her 
has hit the mark. Three such shots were never 
shot by William Tell." 

" It was chance — pure chance," said the 
young Swiss from Berne. " No human skill 
could have done it, much less a puny lad, baffled 
in all besides that he attempted among us." 

" But what has been done ?" said the Lan- 
damman. — " Nay, speak not all at once ! — Anne 
of Geierstein, thoii hast more sense and breeding 
than these boys — tell me how the game has 
gone?" 

The maiden seemed a little confused at this 
appeal ; but answered with a composed and 
downcast look, — 

" The mark was, as usual, a pigeon tied to a 
pole. All the young men, except the stranger, 
had practised at it with the cross-bow and long- 
bow, without hitting it; When I brought out 


110 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

the bow of Buttisholz, I offered it first to my 
kinsmen* None would accept of it, saying, re- 
spected uncle, that a task too great for you, 
must be far too difficult for them." 

" They said well," answered Arnold Bieder- 
man; "and the stranger, did he string the bow?" 

" He did, my uncle, but first he wrote some- 
thing on a piece of paper, and placed it in my 
hands." 

" And did he shoot and hit the mark ?" con- 
tinued the surprised Switzer. 

" He first," said the maiden, " removed the 
pole a hundred yards farther than the post 
where it stood." 

" Singular !" said the T^andamman, " that is 
double the usual distance." 

" He then drew the bow," continued the 
maiden, " and shot off, one after another, with 
incredible rapidity, the three arrows which he 
had stuck into his belt. The first cleft the pole, 
the second cut the string, the third killed the 
poor bird as it rose into the air." 

" By Saint Mary of Einsiedlen !" said the old 

man, looking up in amaze, " if your eyes really 

10 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. Ill 

saw this, they saw such archery as was never 
before witnessed in the Forest States." 

" I say nay to that, my revered kinsman,'* 
replied Rudolph Donnerhugel, whose vexation 
was apparent ; " it was mere chance, if not illu- 
sion or witchery." 

" What say'st thou of it thyself, Arthur," 
said his father, half smiling; " was thy success 
by chance or skill ?" 

" My father," said the young man, " I need 

not tell you that I have done but an ordinary 

feat for an English bowman. Nor do I speak 

to gratify that misproud and ignorant young 

man. But to our worthy host and his family, 

I make answer. This youth charges me with 

having deluded men's eyes, or hit the mark by 

chance. For illusion, yonder is the pierced pole, 

the severed string, and the slain bird, they will 

endure sight and handling ; and, besides, if that 

fair maiden will open the note which I put into 

her hand, she will find evidence to assure you, 

that, even before I drew the bow, I had fixed 

upon the three marks which I designed to aim 

at." 


lift ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

. s 

." Produce the scroll, good niece/ 9 skid her 
uncle, " and end the controversy." 

" Nay, under your favour, my worthy host," 
said Arthur, " it is but some foolish rhymes ad- 
dressed to the maiden's own eye." 

" And under your favour, sir," said the Lan- 
dammafi, " whatsoever is fit for my niece's eyes 
may greet my ears." 

He took the scroll from the maiden, who blush- 
ed deeply when she resigned it. The character in 
which it was written, was so fine, that the Lan- 



damman in. surprise, exclaimed, "No clerk of 
Saint Gall could have written more fairly.— 
Strange," he again repeated, " that a hand which 
could draw so true a bow, should have the 
cunning to form characters so fair." He then 
exclaimed anew, " Ha ! verses, by Our Lady ! 
What, have we minstrels disguised as traders ?" 
He then opened the scroll, and read the follow- 
ing lines : 

If I hit mast, and line, and bird, 
An English archer keeps his word. 
Ah ! maiden, didst thou aim at me, 
A single glance were worth the three. 

9 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEJfl} H3 

" Here is rare rhyming, my worthy guest," 
said the Landamman, shaking his head; "fine 
words to make foolish maidens fain. Bat do not 
excuse it ; it is your country-fashion, and we 
know how to treat it as such." And without 
farther allusion to the concluding couplet, the 
reading of which threw the pofet as well as the 
object of the verses into some discomposure, he 
added gravely, " You must now allow, Rudolph 
Donnerhugel, that the stranger has fairly at- 
tained the three marks which he proposed to 
himself." 

" That he has attained them is plain," answer- 
ed the party to whom the appeal was made; 
" but that he has done this fairly may be 
doubted, if there are such things as witchery 
and magic in this world." 

"Shame, shame, Rudolph !" said the Landam- 
man ; " can spleen and envy have weight with 
so brave a man as you, from whom my sons 
ought to learn temperance, forbearance, and can- 
dour, as well as manly courage and dexterity ?" 

The Bernese coloured high under this rebuke, 
to which he ventured not to attempt a reply. 

VOL. I. H 


114 W* °* MMMTMN. 

u To your sport* till sunset, my children," 
continued Arnold ; " while I and my worthy 
friend occupy our time with a walk, for which 
the evening is now favourable." 

" Methinks," said the English merchant, " I 
should like to visit the ruins of yonder castle* 
situated by the waterfall. There is something 
of melancholy dignity in such a scene which re* 
eonciles us to the misfortunes of our own time, 
by showing that our ancestors, who were perhaps 
more intelligent or more powerful, have never* 
theless, in their days, encountered cares and 
distressed similar to those which we now groan 
under/ 9 

" Have with you, my worthy sir," replied h» 
host ; " there will be time also upon the road 
to talk of things that yon should know." 

The slow step of the two elderly men car- 
ried them by degrees from the limits of the 
lawn, where shout, and laugh, and halloo, were 
again revived. Young Phtlipson, whose sue* 
cess as an Archer had obliterated all recollect 
tion of former failure, made other attempts to 
mingle in the manly pastimes of the country, 


ANNK OF GEIERSTEIN. 115 

and gained a considerable portion of applause. 
The young men who had but lately been so 
ready to join in ridiculing him, now began to 
consider him as a person to be looked up and 
appealed to ; while Rudolph Donnerhugel saw 
with resentment th^t he was no longer without 
a rival in the opinion of his male cousins, perhaps 
of his kinswoman also. The proud young Swiss 
reflected with bitteraess that he had fallen under 
the Landaimnan's displeasure* declined is re* 
pntation with his companions, of whom he had 
been hitherto the leader, and eren hazarded 
a more mortifying disappointment, all, as his 
swelling heart expressed it, through the means 
of a stranger stripling, of neither Mood nor fame, 
who could not step from one rock to another 
without the encouragement of a girL 

lii this irritated mood, he drew near the young 
-Englishman, and while he seemed to address 
him on the chaaees of the sports which were 
still proceeding, he conveyed, in a whisper, 
matter of a far different tendency. Striking 
Arthur's shoulder with the frank bluntness of a 
mountaineer, he said aloud : " Yonder bolt of 


116 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

Ernest whistled through the air like a falcon 
when she stoops down the wind !" And then • 
proceeded in a deep low voice, " Yon merchants 
sell gloves — do you ever deal in single gauntlets, 
or only in pairs ?" 

" I sell no single glove," said Arthur, in- 
stantly apprehending him, and sufficiently dis- 
posed to resent the scornful looks of the Bernese 
champion during the time of their meal, and his 
baving but lately imputed -his successful shoot- 
ing to chance or sorcery,—" I sell no single 
glove, sir, but never refuse to exchange one." 

" You are apt, I see," said Rudolph ; " look 
at the players while I speak, or our purpose 
will be suspected — You are quicker, I say, of 
apprehension than I expected. If we exchange 
oiir gloves, how shall each redeem his own ?" 

" With our good swords," said Arthur Fhi- 
lipson. 

" In armour, or as we stand ?" 

" Even as we stand," said Arthur. " I have 
♦no better garment of proof than this doublet — 
no other weapon than my sword; and these, 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 117 

Sir Switzer, I hold enough for the purpose. — 
Name time and place." 

" The old castle-court at Geierstein," replied 
Rudolph ; " the time sunrise ; — but we are 
watched. — I have lost my wager, stranger," he 
added, speaking aloud, and in an indifferent tone 
of voice, " since Ulrick has made a cast beyond 
Ernest. — There is my glove, in token I will not 
forget the flask of wine." 

" And there is mine," said Arthur, " in to- 
ken I will drink it with you merrily." 

Thus, amid the peaceful though rough sports 
of their companions, did these two hot-headed 
youths contrive to indulge their hostile inclina- 
tions towards each other, by settling a meeting 
.of deadly purpose. 


1 18 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIK. 


CHAPTER V. 


I was one 


Who loved the greenwood bank and lowing herd* 
The russet prize, the lowly peasant's life, 
Season'd with sweet content, more than toe balls 
Where revellers feast to fever-height. Believe me. 
There ne'er was prison mix'd in maple howl*' 

Anonymous, 


Leaving the young persons engaged with 
their sports, the Landamman of Unterwalden 
and the elder Philipson walked on in company, 
conversing chiefly on the political relations of 
France, England, and Burgundy, until the con- 
versation was changed as they entered the gate 
of the old castle-yard of Geierstein, where arose' 
the lonely and dismantled keep, surrounded by 
the ruins of other buildings. 

" This has been a proud and a strong habit- 
ation in its time," said Philipson. 

" They were a proud and powerful race who 
held it," replied the Landamman. " The Counts 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 1 19 

of Gekrstein have a history which runs back 
to the times of the old Helvetians, and their 
deeds are reported to have matched their anti* 
qmty. But all earthly grandeur has an end* 
and free men tread the ruins of their feudal 
castle, at the most distant sight of whose tmr~ 
rets serfs were formerly obliged to Tail their 
Bonnets, if they would escape the chastisement 
of contumacious rebels." 

" I observe," said the merchant, " engraved 
en a stone under yonder turret* the crest, I con- 
ceive, of the last family, a vulture perched oa a 
roek, descriptive, doubtless, of the word Gsier* 
stein." 

" It is the ancient cognizance of the family," 
replied Arnold Biederman, " and, as you say, 
expresses the name of the castle, being the same 
with that of the knights who so long held it" 

" I also remarked in your hall," continued 
the merchant, " a helmet bearing the same crest 
or cognizance* It is, I suppose, a trophy of the 
triumph of the Swiss peasants over the nobles 
of Geiferstein, as the English bow is preserved 
in remembrance of the battle of Buttisholz ?* 


/ 
120 ANNE OF GBIERSTEIN* 

» 

" And you, fair sir," replied the Landainman, 
" would, I perceive, from die prejudices of your 
education, regard the one victory with as unplea- 
sant feelings as the other ? — Strange, that the 
veneration for rank should be rooted even in the 
minds of those who have no claim to share it ! 
But clear up your downcast- brows, my worthy 
guest, and be assured, that though many a proud 
baron's castle, when Switzerland threw off the 
bonds of feudal slavery, was plundered and de- 
stroyed by the just vengeance of an incensed 
people, such was not the lot of Geierstein. The 
blood of the old possessors of these towers still 
flows in the veins of . him by whom these lands 
are occupied." 

" What am I to understand by that, Sir Lan* 
damman ?" said Philipson. " Are not you your- 
self the occupant of this place ?" 

"And you think, probably," answered Arnold, 
" because I live like the other shepherds, wear 
homespun grey, and hold the plough with my 
own hands, I cannot be descended from a line 
of ancient nobility ? This land holds many such 
gentle peasants, Sir Merchant ; nor is there a 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 121 

more ancient nobility than that of which the 
remains are to be found in my native country. 
But they have voluntarily resigned the oppres- 
sive part of their feudal power, and are no longer 
regarded as wolves amongst the flock, but as 
sagacious mastiffs, who attend the sheep in time 
of peace, and are prompt in their defence when 
war threatens our community." 
. " But," repeated the merchant, who could not 
yet reconcile himself to the idea that his plain 
and peasant-seeming host was a man of distin- 
guished birth, " you bear not the name, worthy 
sir, of your fathers— They we*e, you say, the 
Counts of Geierstein, and you ar c " 

" Arnold Biederman,. at your command," 
answered the magistrate. " But know, — if the 
knowledge can make you sup with more sense of 
dignity or comfort,— I need but put on yonder 
old helmet, or, if that were too much trouble, 
I have only to stick a falcon's feather into my 
cap, and call myself Arnold, Count of Geier- 
stein. No man could gainsay me— though whe- 
ther it would become my Lord Count to drive 
his bullocks to the pasture, and whether his Ex* 


122 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

« 

ceUency the High and Well-born could, without 
derogation, sow a field or reap it, lire questions 
which should be settled beforehand. I see you 
are confounded, my respected guest, at my de- 
generacy ; but the state of my family i* very 
soon explained* 

" My lordly lathers ruled tins same domain of 
Geierstein, which in their time was very exten- 
sive, mueh after the mode of feudal barons — 
that is, they were sometimes the protectors and 
patrons, but of tenor the oppressors of their 
subjects. But when my grandfather, Hemrich 
of Geieretoin, flourished, to not only joined the 
Confederates to repel Lagelram de Couci and 
his roving bands, as I already told you, but, 
when the wars with Austria were renewed, 
and many of his degree joined with the host 
of the Emperor Leopold, my ancestor adopted 
the opposite side, fought in front of the Confe- 
derates, and contributed by his skill and valour 
to the decisive victory at Sempach, in which 
Leopold lost his life, and the flower of Aus- 
trian chivalry fell around him. My father, 
Count Williewald, followed the same course, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 123 

both from inclination and policy. He united 
himself closely with the state of Unterwalden, 
became a citizen of the Confederacy, and dktin* 
guished himself so much, that he wasehosen Lust* 
damman of the Republic. He had two sons,— ~ 
fayself, and a younger brother, Albert ; and pos- 
sessed, as he felt himself, of a species of double 
character, he was desirous, perhaps unwisely, (if 
I may censure the purpose of a deceased parent,) 
that one of his sons should succeed him in his 
Lordship of Geierstein, and the other support 
the less ostentatious, though not in my thought 
less honourable condition, of a free citizen of Un- 
terwalden, possessing such influence among his 
equal, in the Canton as might be acquired by hi. 
father's merits and his own* When Albert was 
twelve years old, eur father took us on a, short 
excursion to Germany, where the form, pomp, 
and magnificence which we witnessed, made a 
very different impression on the mind of my 
brother and on my own. What appeared to 
Albert the consummation of earthly splendour, 
seemed to me a weary display of tiresome and 
useless ceremonials. Our father explained his 


124 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

purpose, and offered to me, as his eldest son, the 
large estate belonging to Geierstein, reserving 
«uch a portion of the most fertile ground, as 
might make my brother one of the wealthiest 
•eitizens, in a district where competence is es- 
teemed wealth. The tears gushed from Albert's 
eyes — ' And must my brother,' he said, ' be a no- 
ble Count, honoured and followed by vassals and 
attendants, and I a home-spun peasant among 
the grey-bearded shepherds of Unterwalden ?— 
.No, father — I respect your will — but I will not 
sacrifice my own rights. Geierstein is a fief 
held of the empire, and the laws entitle me 
to my equal half of the lands. If my bro- 
ther be Count of Geierstein, I am not the less 
Count Albert of Geierstein ; and I will appeal 
to the Emperor, rather than that the arbitrary 
will of one ancestor, though he be my father, 
shall cancel in me the rank and rights which I 
have derived from a hundred/ My father was 
greatly incensed. ' Go/ he said, ' proud boy, 
give the enemy of thy country a pretext to in- 
terfere in her affairs — appeal to the will of a 
foreign prince from the pleasure of thy father. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 125 

Go, but never again look me in the face, and 
dread my eternal malediction/ Albert ' was 
about to reply with vehemence, when I entreat- 
. ed him to be silent and hear me speak* I had, I 
said, all my life loved the mountain better than 
the plain ; had been more pleased to walk than 
to ride ; more proud to contend with shepherds 
in their sports, than with nobles in the lists ; 
and happier in the village dance than among the 
feasts of the German nobles. * Let me, therefore,' 
said I, * be a ciiizen of the republic of Unterwal- 
den ; you will relieve me of a thousand cares; 
and let my brother Albert wear the coronet and 
bear the honours of Geierstein.' After some 
farther discussion, my father was at length con* 
tented to adopt my proposal, in order to attain 
the object which he had so much at heart. Al- 
bert was declared heir of his castle and his rank, 
by the* title of Count Albert of Geierstein ; and 
I was placed in possession of these fields and 
fertile meadows amidst which my house is si- 
tuated, and my neighbours called me Arnold 
Biederman." 

"And if Biederman," said the merchant, 


1 


126 ANNE OF GEIBRSTEIN. 

« means, as I understand the word, a man of 
worth, candour, and generosity, I know none on 
whom the epithet could be so justly conferred* 
Yet let me observe, that I praise the conduct, 
which, in your circumstances, I could not have 
bowed my spirit to practise. Proceed, I pray 
you, with the history of your bouse, if the re- 
cital be not painful to you/' 

" I have little more to say," replied the Lan» 
damman. " My father died soon after the set* 
tlement of his estate in the manner I have told 
you. My brother had other possessions in 
Swabia and Westphalia, and seldom visited his 
paternal castle, which was chiefly occupied by 
a qeneschal, a man so obnoxious to the vassals 
of the family, that but for the protection af- 
forded by my near residence, and relationship 
with his lord, he would have been plucked out 
of the Vulture's Nest, and treated with as little 
ceremony as if he had been the vulture himself. 
Neither, to say the truth, did my brother's oc- 
casional visits to Geierstein afford his vassals 
much relief, or acquire any popularity for him* 
self. He heard with the ears and saw with the 


ANNE OF GBIERSTEIN. 127 

eyes of his cruel and interested steward, Ital 
Schreckenwald, and would not listen even to my 
interference and admonition. Indeed, though' 
he always demeaned himself with personal kind- 
ness towards me, I believe he considered me as 
a dull and poor-spirited clown, who had dis- 
graced my noble blood by my mean propensities. 
fie showed contempt on every occasion for the 
prejudices of his countrymen, and particularly 
by wearing a peacock's feather in public, and 
causing his followers to display the same badge, 
though the cognizance of the House of Austria, 
and so unpopular in this country, that men 
have been put to death for no better reason than 
fer carrying it in their caps. In the meantime 
I was married to my Bertha, now a saint in 
Heaven, by whom I had six stately sons, five 
of whom you saw surrounding my table this 
day* Albert also married. His wife was a lady 
of rank in Westphalia, but his bridal-bed was 
less fruitful ; he had only one daughter, Anne 
of Geierstein. Then came on the wars between 
the city of Zurich and our Forest Cantons, in 
which so much blood was «bed, and when our 

7 


128 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

i 

brethren of Zurich were so ill advised as to em* 
brace the alliance of Austria* Their Emperor 
strained every nerve to avail himself of the far 
vourable opportunity afforded by the disunion of 
the Swiss ; and engaged all with whom he had 
influence to second his efforts. With my bro* 
ther he was but too successful ; for Albert not 
only took arms in the Emperor's cause, but ad- 
mitted into the strong fortress of Geierstein a 
band of Austrian soldiers, with whom the wick- 
od Ital Schreckenwald laid waste the whole 
country, excepting my little patrimony."* 

" It came to a severe pass with you, my wor* 
thy host, 99 said the merchant, " since you were 
to decide against the cause of your country or 
that of your brother." 

" I did not hesitate," continued Arnold Bio- 
derman. " My brother was in the Emperor's 
army, and I was not therefore reduced to act 
personally against him ; but I denounced war 
against the robbers and thieves with whom 
Schreckenwald had filled tny father's house. It 
was waged with various fortune. The seneschal, 

during my absence,* burnt down my house, and 

11 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 129 

slew my youngest sod, who died, alas ! in defence 
of his father's hearth. It is little to add, that my 
lands were wasted, and my floqjfli destroyed On 
the other hand, I succeeded, with help of a body 
of the peasants of Unterwalden, in storming the 
castle of Geierstein. It was offered back to me 
by the Confederates ; but I had no desire to sully 
the fair cause in which I bad assumed arms, by 
enriching myself at the expense of my brother ; 
and, besides, to have dwelt in that guarded hold 
would have been a penance to one, the sole pro- 
tectors of whose house of late years bad been a 
latch and a shepherd's cur. The castle was there- 
fore dismantled, as you see, by order of the elders 
of the Canton ; and I even think, that consider- 
ing the uses it was too often put to* I look with 
more pleasure on the rugged remains of Geier- 
stein, than I ever did when it was entire, and 
apparently impregnable." 

" I can understand your feelings,'* said the 
Englishman, " though I repeat, my virtue would 
not perhaps have extended so far beyond the 
circle of my family affections.— Your brother, 
what said he to your patriotic exertions ?" 

VOL. I. I 


130 ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 

" He was, as I learnt," answered the Lan- 
damman, "dreadfully incensed, having no doubt 
been informed that I had taken his castle with 
a view to my own aggrandizement. He even 
swore he would renounce my kindred, seek me 
through the battle, and slay me with his own 
hand. We were, in fact, both at the battle of 
Freyenbach, but my brother was prevented from 
attempting the execution of his vindictive pur* 
pose by a wound from an arrow, which occa- 
sioned his being carried out of the mel&e. I 
was afterwards' in the bloody and melancholy 
fight at Mount-Herzel, and that other onslaught 
at the Chapel of St Jacob, which brought 
our brethren of Zurich to terms, and reduced 
Austria once more to the .necessity of making 
peace with us. After this war of thirteen years, 
. the Diet passed sentence of banishment for life 
on my brother Albert, and would have deprived 
him of his possessions, but forbore in consider- 
ation of what they thought my good service. 
When the sentence was intimated to the Count 
of Geierstein, he returned an answer of defiance ; 
yet a singular circumstance showed us not long 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 131 

afterwards that he retained an attachment to 
his country, and amidst his resentment against 
me his brother, did justice to my unaltered af- 
fection for him." 

" I would pledge my credit," said the mer- 
chant, " that what follows relates to yonder 
fair maiden, yoar niece?" 

" You guess rightly," said the Landamman. 
" For some time we heard, though indistinctly, 
(for we have, as you know, hut little communi- 
cation with foreign countries,) that my brother 
was high in favour at the court of the Emperor, 
but latterly that he had fallen under suspicion, 
and, in the course of some of those revolutions 
common at the courts of princes, had bpen dri- 
ven into exile. It was shortly after this news, 
and, as I think, more than s$ven years ago, 
that I was returning from hunting on the fur- 
ther side of the river, had passed the narrow 
bridge as usual, and was walking through the 
court-yard which we have lately left, (for their 
walk was now turned homeward,) when a voice 
said, in the German language, * Uncle, have 
compassion upon me !' As I looked around, 


132 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

I beheld a girl of ten years old approach timidly 
from the shelter of the ruins, and kneel xlown 
at my feet* c Uncle, spare my life,' she said, 
holding up her little bands in the act of suppli- 
cation, while mortal terror was painted upon her 
countenance.—' Am I your uncle, little maid- 
en 7 said I ; € and if I am, why should you fear 
me ?*— c Because you are the head of the wicked 
and base clowns who delight to spill noble blood, 9 
replied the girl, with a courage which surprised 
me.—' What is your name, my little maiden 7 
said I ; « and who, having planted in your mind 
opiniolis so unfavourable to your kinsman, has 
brought you hither, to see if he resembles the 
picture you have received of him ?— * It was 
Ital Schreckenwald that brought me hither,' 
said the girl, only half comprehending the na- 
ture of my question*— ' Ital Schreckenwald 7 I 
repeated, shocked at the name of a wretch I 
have so much reason to hate. A voice from the 
ruins, like that of a sullen echo from the grave, 
answered, < Ital Schreckenwald !' and the caitiff 
issued from his place of concealment, and stood 
before me, with that singular indifference to dan- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 133 

ger which he unites to bis atrocity of character. 
I had my spiked mountain-staff in my hand— 
What should I have done-— or what would you 
have done, under like circumstances ?' 

" I would have laid him on the earth, with 
his skull shivered like an icicle !" said the Eng- 
lishman, fiercely. 

" I had wellnigh done so," replied the Swiss, 
" but he was unarmed, a messenger from my 
brother, and therefore no object of revenge. His 
own undismayed and audacious conduct contri- 
buted to save him. ' Let the vassal of the noble 
and high-bqrn Count of Geierstein hear, the 
words of his maeter, and let him look that they 
are obeyed,' said the insolent ruffian. * Doff 
thy cap, and listen; for though the voice is 
mine, the words are those of the noble Count.' 
— * God and man knov?>' replied I, * if I owe 
my brother respect or homage — it is much if, 
in respect for him, I defer paying to his mes- 
senger the meed I dearly owe him. Proceed 
with thy tale, and rid me of thy hateful pre- 
8ence.'-— ' Albert Count of Geierstein, thy lord 
and my lord, 9 proceeded Schreckenwald, ' ba- 


134 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

ving on his hand wars, and other affairs of 
weight, sends his daughter, the Countess Anne, 
to thy charge, and graces thee so far as to in- 
trust to thee her support and nurture, until it 
shall suit his purposes to require her back from 
thee; and he desires'ihat thou apply to her main- 
tenance the rents and profits of the lands of 
Geierstein, which thou hast usurped from him.' 
— « Ital Sehreckenwald,' I replied, ' I will not 
stop to ask if this mode of addressing me be ac- 
cording to my brother's directions, or thine own 
insolent pleasure. If circumstances have, as 
thou sayest, deprived my niece of her natural 
protector, I will be to her as a father, nor shall 
she want aught which I have to give her. The 
lands of Geierstein are forfeited to the state, the 
castle is ruinous, as thou seest, and it is much 
of thy crimes that the house of my fathers is 
desolate. But where I dwell Anne of Geier- 
stein shall dwell, as my children fare shall she 
fare, and she shall be to me as a daughter. And 
now thou hast thine errand — Go hence, if thou 
lovest thy life ; for it is unsafe parleying with the 
father, when thy hands are stained with the Mood 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 135 

of the son/ The wretch retired as I spoke, but 
took his leave with his usual determined in- 
solence of manner. — * Farewell,' he said, * Count 
of the Plough and Harrow — farewell, noble com- 
panion of paltry burghers!' He disappeared, 
and released me from the strong temptation un- 
der which I laboured, and which urged me to 
stain with his blood the place which had witness* 
ed his cruelty and his crimes. I conveyed my 
niece to my house, and soon convinced her that 
I was her sincere friend* I inured her, as if she 
had been my daughter, to all our mountain ex- 
ercises ; and while she excels in these the maid- 
ens of the district, there burst from her such 
sparkles of sense and courage, mingled with 
delicacy, as belong not— I must needs own the 
truth — to the simple maidens of these wild hills, 
but relish of a nobler stem, and higher breed- 
ing. Yet they are so happily mixed with sim- 
plicity and courtesy, that Anne of Geiersteinas 
justly considered as the pride of the district ; 
nor do I doubt but that, if she should make 
a worthy choice of a husband, the state would 
assign her a large dower out of her father's 


136 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

possessions, since it is not our maxim to punish 
the child for the faults of the parent." 

" It will naturally be your anxious desire, 
my worthy host," replied the Englishman, " to 
secure to your niece, in whose praises I have 
deep cause to join with a grateful voice, such 
a suitable match as her birth and expectations, 
but above all her merit, demand/' 

" It is, my good gue st," said the Landam* 
man, " that which hath often occupied my 
thoughts. The over-near relationship prohibits 
what would have been my most earnest desire, 
the hope of seeing her wedded to one of my own 
sons. This young man, Rudolf Donnerhugel, 
is brave, and highly esteemed by his fellow-citi- 
zens : but more ambitious, and more desirous of 
distinction, than I would desire for my niece's 
companion through life. His temper is violent, 
though his heart, I trust, is good. But I am 
like to .be unpleasantly released from all care 
on this score, since my brother, having, as it 
seemed, forgotten Anne for seven years and 
upwards, has, by a letter which I have lately 
received, demanded that she shall be restored 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 137 

to him.-— You can read, my worthy sir, for your 
profession requires it. See, here is the scroll, 
coldly worded, but far less unkindly than his 
unbrotherly message by Ital Schreckenwald — 
Read it, I pray you, aloud." 

The merchant read accordingly. 

" Brother— -I thank you for the care you 
have taken of my daughter, for she has been in 
safety when she would otherwise have been 
in peril, and kindly used, when she would have 
been in hardship. I now entreat you to restore 
her to me, and trust 'that she will come with 
the virtues which become a woman in every 
station, and a disposition to lay aside the habits 
of a Swiss villager, for the graces of a high- 
born maiden. — Adieu. I thank you once more 
for your care, and would repay it were it ift 
my power ; but you need nothing I cap give, 
having renounced the rank to which you were 
born, and made your nest on the ground where 
the storm passes over you. I rest your brother, 

" Geierstein-" 
" It is addressed * to Count Arnold of Geier- 
stein, called Arnold Biederman.' A postscript 


138 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

requires you to send the maiden to the court 
of the Duke of Burgundy. — This, good sir, 
appears to me the language of a haughty man, 
divided betwixt the recollection of old offence 
and recent obligation. The speech of his mes- 
senger was that of a malicious vassal, desirous 
of venting his own spite under pretence of doing 
his lord's errand." 

" I so receive both," replied Arnold Bieder- 
man. 

" And do yon intend," continued the mer- 
chant, " to resign this beautiful and interesting 
creature to the conduct of her father, wilful 
as he seems to be, without knowing what his 
condition is, or what his power of protecting 
her ?" 

* The Landamman hastened to reply. " The 
tie which unites the parent to the child, is the 
earliest and the most hallowed that binds the 
human race. The difficulty of her travelling in 
safety has hitherto prevented my attempting to 
carry my brother's instructions into execution. 
But as I am now likely to journey in person to- 
wards the court of Charles, I have determined 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. "- 139 

that Anne shall accompany me ; and as I will 
myself converse with my brother, whom I have 
not seen for many years, I shall learn his purpose 
respecting his daughter, and it may be I may 
prevail on Albert to suffer her to remain un- 
der my charge.— And now, sir, having told you 
of my family affairs at some greater length 
than was necessary, I must crave your atten- 
tion as a wise man, to what farther I have to 
say. You know the disposition which young 
men and women naturally have to talk, jest, 
and sport with each other, out of which prac- 
tice arise often more serious attachments, which 
they call loving par amours. I trust, if we are 
to travel together, you will so school your young 
man as to make him aware that Anne of Geier- 
stein cannot, with propriety on her part, be 
made the object of his thoughts or attentions/' 
The merchant coloured with resentment, 
or something like it. " I asked not to join your 
company, Sir Landamman — it was you who re- 
quested mine," he said ; " if my son and I have 
since become in any respect the objects of your 

12 


140 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

suspicion, we will gladly pursue our way sepa- 
rately." 

" Nay, be not angry, worthy guest," said the 
Landamman ; " we Switzers do not rashly har- 
bour suspicions ; and that we may not harbour 
them, we speak respecting the circumstances' 
out of which they might arise, more plainly than 
is the wont of more civilized countries. When 
I proposed to you to be my companion on the 
journey, to speak the truth, though it may dis- 
please a father's ear, I regarded your son as a 
soft, faint-hearted youth, who was, as yet at 
least, too timid and milky-blooded to attract 
either respect or regard from the maidens. But 
a few hoars have presented him to us in the 
character of such a one as is sure to interest 
them. He has accomplished the emprize of the 
bow, long thought unattainable, and with which 
a popular report attaches an idle prophecy. He 
has wit to make verses, and knows doubtless 
how to recommend himself by other accomplish- 
ments which bind young persons to each other, 
though they are lightly esteemed by men whose 
beards are mixed with grey, like yours, friend 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 141 

i 

merchant, and mine own. Now, you must be 
aware, that since my brother broke terms with 
me, pimply for preferring the freedom of a Swiss 
citizen to the tawdry and servile condition of a 
German courtier, he will not approve of any one 
looking towards his daughter who hath not the 
advantage of noble blood, or who hath, what he 
would call, debased himself by attention to mer- 
chandise, to the cultivation of land — in a word, 
to any art that is useful. Should your son love 
Anne of Geierstein, he prepares for himself dan- 
ger and disappointment. And, now you know 
the whole, — I ask you, Do we travel together 
or apart ?" 

" Even as ye list, my worthy host,' 9 said 
Philipson, in an indifferent tone ; " for me, I 
can but say that such an attachment as you 
speak of would be as contrary to my wishes as 
to those of your brother, or what I suppose are 
your own. Arthur Philipson has duties to per- 
form totally inconsistent with his playing the 
gentle bachelor to any maiden in Switzerland, 
take Germany to boot, whether of high or low 
degree. He is an obedient son, besides — hath 


142 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

never seriously disobeyed my commands, and I 
will have an eye upon his motions." 

" Enough, my friend," said the Landamman; 
" we travel together, then, and I willingly keep 
my original purpose, being both pleased and 
instructed by your discourse." 

Then changing the conversation, he began 
to ask whether his acquaintance thought that 
the league entered into by the King of England 
and the Duke of Burgundy would continue 
stable. " We hear much," continued the Swiss, 
" of the immense army with which King Edward 
proposes the recovery of the English dominions 
in France." 

" I am well aware," said Philipson, " that 
nothing can be so popular in my country as the 
invasion of France, and the attempt to recon- 
quer Normandy, Maine, and Gascony, the an* 
cient appanages of our English crown. But I 
greatly doubt whether the voluptuous usurper, 
who now calls himself king, will be graced by 
Heaven with success in such an adventure* 
This Fourth Edward is brave indeed, and has 
gained every battle in which he drew his sword, 


ANNE OF GEIERST£1N. 143 

and they have beeft many in number. But since 
he reached, through a bloody path, to the summit 
of bis ambition, he has shown himself rather a 
sensual debauchee than a valiant knight ; and 
it is my firm belief, that not even the chance 
of recovering all the fair dominions which were 
lost during the civil wars excited by his am- 
bitious house, will tempt him to exchange the 
soft beds of London, with sheets of silk and 
pillows of down, and the music of a dying lute 
to lull him to rest, for the turf of France and 
the reveillee of an alarm trumpet." 

" It is the better for us should it prove so," 
said the Landamman ; " for if England and 
Burgundy were to dismember France,** in our 
fathers' days was nearly accomplished, Duke 
Charles would then have leisure to exhaust his 
long-hoarded vengeance against our confede- 
racy." 

As they conversed thus, they attained once 
more the lawn in front of Arnold Biederman's 
mansion, where the contention of the young men 
had given place to the dance performed by the 
young persons of both sexes. The dance was 


144 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

led by Anne of Geierstein, and the youthful 
stranger ; which, although it was the most natu- 
ral arrangement, where the one was a guest* 
'and the other represented the mistress of the 
family, occasioned the Landamman's exchan- 
ging a glance with the elder Philipson, as if it 
had held some relation to the suspicions he had 
recently expressed. 

But so soon as her uncle and his elder guest 
appeared, Anne of Geierstein took the earliest 
opportunity of a pause to break off the dance, 
and to enter into conversation with her kinsman, 
as if on the domestic affairs under her attend- 
ance. Philipson observed, that his host listened 
seriously to his niece's communication ; and 
nodding in his frank manner, seemed to inti- 
mate that her request should receive a favour** 
able consideration. 

The family were presently afterwards sum- 
moned to attend the evening meal, which con- 
sisted chiefly of the excellent fish afforded by 
the neighbouring streams and lakes. A large 
cup, containing what was called the scMqf-trunk, 
or sleeping drink, then went round, which was 

8 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 145 

first quaffed by the master of the household, 
then modestly tasted by the maiden, next pled- 
ged by the two strangers, and finally emptied 
by the rest of the company* Such were then 
the sober manners of the Swiss, afterwards much 
corrupted by their intercourse with more luxu- 
rious regions. The guests were conducted to 
the sleeping apartments, where Philipson and 
young Arthur occupied the same couch, and 
shortly after the whole inhabitants of the house- 
hold were locked in sound repose. 


VOL. I. K 


148 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN, 


CHAPTER VI. 


When we two meet we meet like rushing torrents; 
Like warring winds, like flames from various points, 
That mate each other's fury — there is nought 
Of elemental strife, were fiends to guide it, 
Can match the wrath of man. 

Frknaud. 


The elder of our two travellers, though a 
strong man and familiar with fatigue, slept 
sounder and longer than usual on the morning 
which was now beginning to dawn, but bis son 
Arthur had that upon his mind which early in- 
terrupted his repose. 

The encounter with the bold Switzer, a cho- 
sen man of a renowned race of warriors, was an 
engagement, which, in the opinion of the period 
in which he lived, was not to be delayed or bro- 
ken. He left bis father's side, avoiding as much 
as possible the risk of disturbing him, though 
even in that case the circumstance would not 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. HT 

have excited any attention, as he was in the ha- 
bit of rising early, in order to make prepara- 
tions for the day's journey, to see that the guide 
was on bis duty,' and that the mule had his pro* 
vender, and to discharge similar offices which 
might otherwise have given trouble to his father. 
The old 'man, however, fatigued with the exer- 
tions of the preceding day, slept, as we have 
said, more soundly than his wont, and Arthur, 
arming himself with his good sword, sallied out 
to the lawn in front of the Landamman's dwell- 
ing, amid the magic dawn of a beautiful har- 
vest morning in the Swiss mountains. 

The sun was just about to kiss the top of the 
most gigantic of that race of Titans, though the 
long shadows still lay on the rough grass, which 
crisped under the young man's feet with a 
strong intimation of frost* But Arthur looked 
not round on the landscape however lovely, 
which lay waiting one flash from the orb of day 
to start into brilliant existence* He drew the 
belt of his trusty sword which he was in the 
act of fastening when he left the house, and ere 
he had secured the buckle, he was many paces 


148 ANNE OF GKIERSTEIN. 

on his way towards the place where he was to 
use it. 

It was still the custom of that military pe- 
riod, to regard a summons to combat as a sa- 
cred engagement, preferable to all others which 
could be formed ; and stifling whatever inward 
feelings of reluctance Nature might oppose to 
the dictates of fashion, the step of a gallant to 
the place of encounter was required to be as free 
and ready, as if he had been going to a bridal. 
I do not know whether this alacrity was alto- 
gether real on the part of Arthur Philipson ; 
but if it were otherwise, neither his look nor 
pace betrayed the secret. 

Having hastily traversed the fields and groves 
which separated the Landamman's residence 
from the old castle of Geierstein, he entered the 
court-yard from the side where the castle over- 
looked the land ; and nearly in the same instant 
his almost gigantic antagonist, who looked yet 
more tall and burly by the pale morning light 
than he had seemed the preceding evening, 
appeared ascending from the precarious bridge 
beside the torrent, having reached Geierstein by 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 149 

a different route from that pursued by the Eng- 
lishman. 

The young champion of Berne had hanging 
along his hack one of those huge two-handed 
swords, the blade of which measured five feet, 
and which ware wielded with both hands. These 
were almost universally used by the Swiss; 
for, besides the impression which such wea- 
pons were calculated to make upon the array 
of the German men-at-arms, whose armour 
was impenetrable to lighter swords, they were 
also well calculated to defend mountain passes, 
where the great bodily strength and agility of 
those who bore them, enabled the combatants, 
in spite of their weight and length, to use them 
with much address and effect. One of these 
gigantic swords hung around Rudolf Donner- 
hugel's neck, the point rattling against his heel, 
and the handle extending itself over his left 
shoulder, considerably above his head. He car- 
ried another in his hand* 

" Thou art punctual," he called out to Ar- 
thur Philipson, in a voice which was distinctly 
heard above the roar of the waterfall, which it 


150 AMMK OF GKIERSTE1N. 

seemed to rival in sullen force. "But I judged 
thou wouldst come without a two-handed sword. 
There is my kinsman Ernest's, 9 ' he said, throw- 
ing on the ground the weapon which he carried, 
with the hilt towards the young Englishman* 
" Look, stranger, that thou disgrace it not, for 
my kinsman will never forgive me if thou dost. 
Or thou mayst have mine if thou likest it bet* 
ter." 

The Englishman looked at the weapon, with 
some surprise, to the use of which he was totally 
unaccustomed* 

" The challenger," he said, " in all countries 
where honour is known, accepts the arms of 
the challenged." 

" He who fights on a Swiss mountain, fights 
with a Swiss brand," answered Rudolf. "Think 
you our hands are made to handle penknives ?" 

" Nor are ours made to wield scythes," said 
Arthur; and muttered betwixt his teeth, as 
he looked at the sword, which the Swiss con* 
tinned to offer him — " Usum nan habeo, I have 
not proved the weapon." 
" Do you repent the bargain you have made?" 


ANNE OF GEIJtRSTEIN. 151 

said the Swiss; " if so, cry craven, and return 
in safety* Speak plainly, instead of prattling 
Latin like a clerk or a shaven monk." 

" No, proud man," replied the Englishman, 
" I ask thee no forbearance. I thought but of 
a combat between a shepherd and a giant, in 
which God gave the victory to him who had 
worse odds of weapons than falls to my lot to* 
day. I will fight as I stand; my own good sword 
shall serve my need now, as it has done before." 

" Content ! —-But blame not me who offered 
thee equality of weapons," said the mountaineer. 
" And now hear me. This is a fight for life or 
death — yon waterfall sounds the alarum for our 
conflict. — Yes, old bellower," he continued, 
looking back, " it is long since thou hast heard 
the noise of battle ; — and look at it ere we begin, 
stranger, for if you fall, I will commit your 
body to its waters." 

" And if thou fall'st, proud Swiss," answered 
Arthur, " as well I trust thy presumption leads 
to destruction, I will have thee buried in the 
church at Einsiedlen, where the priests shall 
sing masses for thy soul — thy two-handed sword 


152 ANNE Of OEIKIISTKIN. 

•ball be displayed above thy grave, and a scroll 
shall tell the passenger, Here lies a bear's cob 
of Berne, slain by Arthur the Englishman." 

" The stone is not in Switzerland, rooky as it 
is," said Rudolf, scornfully, " that shall bear 
that inscription. Prepare thyself for battle." 

The Englishman east a calm and deliberate 
glance around the stone of action-~»a court-yard, 
partly open, partly encumbered with ruins, in 
less and larger wmnsen 

Mettrinks, said he to himself, a master of 
his weapon, with the instructions of Botta- 
ferma of Florence in his remembrance, a light 
heart, a good blade* a firm hand, and a just 
cause, might make up a worse odds than two 
feet of steel* 

Thinking thus, and imprinting on his mind 
as much as the time would permit, every cir- 
cumstance of the locality around him which 
promised advantage in the combat, and taking 
his station in the middle of the courtyard where 
the ground was entirely clear, he flung his cloak 
from him, and drew his sword. 

Rudolph had at first believed that his foreign 


ANNE OF OEIEBSTEIN. 153 

antagonist was an effeminate youth, who would 
be swept from before him at the first flourish 
of his tremendous weapon. But the firm and 
watchful attitude assumed by the young man, 
reminded the Swiss of the deficiencies of his own 
unwieldy implement, and made him determine 
to avoid any precipitation which might give ad* 
vantage to an enemy who seemed both daring 
and vigilant. He unsheathed his huge sword, 
by drawing it over the left shoulder, an opera- 
tion which required some little time, and might 
have offered formidable advantage to his anta- 
gonist, had Arthur's sense of honour permit- 
ted him to begin the attack ere it was com- 
pleted. The Englishman remained firm, how- 
ever, until the Swiss, displaying his bright 
brand to the morning sun, made three or four 
flourishes as if to prove its weight, and the fa- 
cility with which he wielded it — then stood firm 
within sword-stroke of his adversary, grasp- 
ing his weapon with both hands, and advancing 
it a little before his body, with the blade pointed 
straight upwards. The Englishman, on the con- 
trary, carried bis sword in one hand, holding it 


154 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN* 

across his face in a horizontal position, so as to 
be at once ready to strike, thrust, or parry* 

" Strike, Englishman !" said the Switzer, 
after they had confronted each other in this 
manner for about a minute. 

" The longest sword should strike first," 
said Arthur; and the words had not left his 
mouth when the Swiss sword rose, and de- 
acended with a rapidity which, the weight and 
size of the weapon considered, appeared por- 
tentous. No parry, however dexterously in- 
terposed, could have baffled the ruinous de* 
scent of that dreadful weapon, by which the 
champion of Berne had hbped at once to begin 
the battle and end it. But young Philipson 
had not over-estimated the justice of his own 
eye, or the activity of his limbs. Ere the blade 
descended, a sudden spring to one side carried 
him from beneath its heavy sway, and before 
the Swiss could again raise his sword aloft, he 
received a wound, though a slight one, upon the 
left arm. Irritated at the failure and at the 
wound, the Switzer heaved up his sword once 
more, and availing himself of a strength corre- 

11 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 155 

•ponding to his size, he discharged towards bis 
adversary a succession of blows, downright, 
athwart, horizontal, and from left to right, with 
such surprising strength and velocity, that it 
required all the address of the young English* 
man, by parrying, shifting, eluding, or retreat- 
ing, to evade a storm, of which every individual 
blow seemed sufficient to cleave a solid rock. 
The Englishman was compelled to give ground, 
now backwards, now swerving to the one side 
or the other, now availing himself of the frag- 
ments of the ruins, but watching all the while, 
with the utmost composure, the moment when 
the strength of his enraged enemy might become 
somewhat exhausted, or when by some improvi- 
dent or furious blow he might again lay him-* 
self open to a close attack. The latter of these 
advantages had neaErly occurred, for in the mid- 
dle of his headlong charge, the S witzer stumbled 
over a large stone concealed among the long 
grass, and ere he. could recover himself, recei- 
ved a severe blow across the head from his an* 
tagonist. It lighted upon his bonnet, the lining 
of which enclosed a small steel cap, so tfrat he 


156 ANNE OF GKIEBSTS1M. 

—raped nnwotmded, and springing up, renew- 
ed the battle with unabated fury, though it 
eeemed to the young Kngfiahman with breath 
somewhat short, and blows dealt with more 
caution. 

They were still contending with equal fortune, 
when a stern voice, rising over the clash of 
swords, as well as the roar of waters, called out 
in a commanding tone, " On your lives, for- 
bear!" 

The two combatants sunk the points of their 
swords, not very sorry perhaps for the inter- 
ruption of a strife which must otherwise have 
had a deadly termination. They looked round, 
and theLandamman stood before them, with an- 
ger frowning on his broad and expressive fore* 
neadL 

" How now, boys !" he saffl; " are you guests 
of Arnold Biederman, and do you dishonour his 
bouse by acts of violence more becoming the 
wolves of the mountains, than beings to whom 
the great Creator has given a form after his 
own likeness, and an immortal soul to be saved 
by penance and repentance ?" 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 157 

u Arthur/' said the elder Philipson, who bad 
come up at the same time with their host, 
" what frenzy is this ? Are your duties of so light 
and heedless a nature, as to give time and place 
for quarrels and combats with every idle boor 
who chanees to be boastful at once and bull- 
headed ?" 

The young men, whose strife had ceased at 
the entrance of these unexpected spectators, 
stood looking at each other, and resting on their 
swords, 

" Rudolph Donnerhngel," said the Landam- 
man, " give thy sword to me— to me, the owner 
of this ground, the master of this family, and 
magistrate of the canton." 

" ^nd which is more," answered Rudolph, 
submissively, " to you who are Arnold' Bieder- 
man, at. whose command every native of these 
mountains draws his sword or sheathes it." 

He gave his two-handed sword to the Lan- 
damman. 

. " Now, by my honest word," said Biederman, 
" it is the same with which thy father Stephen 
fought so gloriously at Sempach, abreast with 


158 ANNE OP GEIERSTEIN. 

the famous De Winkelried ! Shame it is, that it 
should be drawn on a helpless stranger. — And 
yon, young- sir," continued the Swiss, address- 
ing Arthur, while his father said at the same 
time, " Young man, yield up your sword to the 
Landamman." 

" It shall not need, sir," replied the young 
Englishman, " since, for my part, I hold our 
strife at an end. This gallant gentleman called 
me hither on a trial, as I conceive, of courage : I 
can give my unqualified testimony to his gallan- 
try and swordmanship; and as I trust he will say 
nothing to the shame of my manhood, I think 
our strife has lasted long enough for the pur- 
pose which gave rise to it." 

" Too long for me," said Rudolph, frankly; 
¥ " the green sleeve of my doublet, which I wore 
of that colour in love to the Forest Cantons, is 
now stained into as dirty a crimson as could 
have been done by any dyer in Ypres or Ghent. 
Bat I heartily forgive the brave stranger who 
has spoiled my jerkin, and given its master a 
lesson he will not soon forget. Had all Eng- 
lishmen been like your guest, worthy kinsman, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 159 

methinks the mound at Buttisholz had hardly 
risen so high." 

" Cousin Rudolph/' said the Landamman, 
smoothing his brow as his kinsman spoke, " I 
hare ever thought thee as generous as thou art 
hair-brained and quarrelsome; and you, my 
young guest, may rely, that when a Swiss says 
the quarrel is over, there is no chance of its 
being renewed. We are not like the men of the 
valleys to the eastward, who nurse revenge as 
if it were a favourite child. And now, join 
bands, my children, and let us forget this fool- 
ish feud." 

" Here is my band, brave stranger,", said 
Donnerhugel ; " thou hast taught me a trickjof 
fence, and when we have broken our fast, we 
will, by your leave, to the forest, where I will 
teach you a trick of woodcraft in return. When 
your foot hath half the experience of your hand, 
and your eye hath gained a portion of the stea- 
diness of your heart, you will not find many 
hunters to match you." 

Arthur, with all the ready confidence of youth, 
readily embraced a proposition so frankly made,. 


160 ANNE OF GEIEBSTEIN. 

and before they reached the house, various sub- 
jects of sport were eagerly discussed between 
them, with as much cordiality as if no disturb- 
ance of their concord had taken place. 

" Now this," said the Landamman, " is as it 
should be. I am ever ready to forgive the 
headlong impetuosity of our youth, if they will 
be but manly and open in their reconciliation, 
and bear their heart on their tongue, as a true 
Swiss should." 

" These two youths had made but wild work 
of it, however," said Philipson, f * had not your 
care, my worthy host, learned of their rendez- 
vous, and called me to assist in breaking their 
purpose. May I ask how it came to your know- 
ledge so opportunely ?" 

'< It was e'en through means of my domestic 
fairy," answered Arnold Biederman, " who 
seems born for the good luck of my family,— I 
mean my niece, Anne, who had observed a glove 
exchanged betwixt the two young braggadocios, 
and heard them mention Geierstein and break 
of day. O, sir, it is much to see a woman's sharp- 
ness of wit ! it would have been long enough 

17 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 161 

ere any of ihy thick-headed sons had shown 
themselves so apprehensive." 

" I think I see our propitious protectress 
peeping at us from yonder high ground," said 
Philipson ; " but it seems as if she would will- 
ingly observe us without being seen in re- 
turn." 

" Ay," said the Landamman* " she has been 
looking out to see that there has been no hurt 
done ; and now, I warrant me, the foolish girl is 
ashamed of having shown such a laudable de- 
gree of interest in a matter of the kind." 

" Methinks," said the Englishman, " I would 
willingly return my thanks, in your presence, 
to the fair maiden to whom I have been so high- 
ly indebted." 

" There can be no better time than the pre- 
sent," said the Landamman ; and he sent through 
the groves the maiden's name, in one of those 
shrilly accented tones which we have already 
noticed. 

Anne of Geierstein, as Philipson had before 
observed, was stationed upon a knoll at some 
distance, and concealed, as she thought, from 

VOL. I. L 


»* 


162 ANNE OF GEIERSTEJN. 

notice, by a screen of brushwood. She start- 
ed at her uncle's summons, therefore, but pre- 
sently obeyed it ; and avoiding the young men, 
who passed on foremost, she joined the Lan- 
damman and Philipson, ty a circuitous path 
through the woods. 

" My worthy friend and guest would speak 
with you, Anne," said the Landamman, so soon 
as the morning greeting had been exchanged. 
The Swiss maiden coloured over brow as well 
as cheek, when Philipson, with a grace which 
seemed beyond his calling, addressed her in 
these words : — 

" It happens sometimes to us merchants, my 
fair young friend, that we are unlucky enough 
not to possess means for the instant defraying 
of our debts ; but he is justly held amongst us 
as the meanest of mankind who does not ac- 
knowledge them. Accept, therefore, the thanks 
of a father, whose son your courage, only yes* 
terday, saved from destruction, and whom your 
prudence has, this very morning, rescuefl from 
a great danger. And grieve me not, by re- 
fusing to wear these ear-rings," he added, pro- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 163 

during a small jewel-case, which he opened as 
he spoke; " they are, it is true, only of pearls, 
but they have not been thought unworthy the 
ears of a countess — " 

" And must, therefore," said the old Lan- 
damman, " show misplaced on the person of a 
Swiss maiden of Unterwalden ; for such and no 
more is my niece Anne while she resides in my 
solitude. Methinks, good Master Philipson, you 
display less than your usual judgment in match- 
ing the quality of your gifts with the rank of 
her on whom they are bestowed — as a merchant, 
too, you should remember that large guerdons 
will lighten your gains." 

" Let me crave your pardon, my good host," 
answered the Englishman, " while I reply, that 
at least I have consulted my own sense of the 
obligation under which I labour, and have cho- 
sen, out of what I have at my free disposal, that 
which I thought might best express it. I trust 
the host whom I have found hitherto so kind, 
wiH not prevent this young maiden from ac- 
cepting what is at least not unbecoming the 
rank she is born to ; and you will judge me un- 


164 ANN^ OF GEIERSTEIN. 

justly if you think me capable of doing either 
myself or you the wrong, of offering any token 
of a value beyond what I can well spare." 

The Landamman took the jewel-case into his 
own hand. 

" I have ever set my countenance," he said, 
" against gaudy gems, which are leading us 
daily further astray from the simplicity of our 
fathers and mothers. — And yet," he added, with 
a good-humoured smile, and holding one of the 
ear-rings close to his relation's face, " the or- 
naments do set off the wench rarely, and they 
say girls have more pleasure in wearing such 
toys than grey-haired men can comprehend. 
Wherefore, dear Anne, as thou hast deserved a 
dearer trust in a greater matter, I refer thee 
entirely to thine own wisdom, to accept of our 
good friend's costly present, and wear it or not 
as thou thinkest fit." 

" Since such is your pleasure, my best friend 
and kinsman/' said the young maiden, blushing 
as she spoke, " I will not give pain to our 
valued guest, by refusing what he desires so 
earnestly that I should accept; but, by his 


* ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 165 

leave, good uncle, and yours, I will bestow 
these splendid ear-rings on the shrine of Our 
Lady of Einsiedlen, to express our general gra- 
titude to her protecting favour, which has been 
around us in the terrors of yesterday's storm, 
and the alarms of this morning's discord." 

" By Our Lady, the wench speaks sensibly," 
said the Landamman ; " and her wisdom has 
applied thy bounty well, my good guest, to be- 
speak prayers for thy family and mine, and for 
the general peace of Unterwalden. — Go to, 
Anne, thou shalt have a necklace of jet at next 
shearing-feast, if our fleeces bear any price in 
the market." 


166 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


CHAPTER VII. 


Let him who will not proffer'* peace receive, 
Be sated with the plagues which war can give ; 
And well thy hatred of the peace is known, 
If now thy soul reject the friendship shown. 

Hoole's Tauo, 


The confidence betwixt the Landamman and 
the English merchant appeared to increase du- 
ring the coarse of a few busy days, which oc- 
curred before that appointed for the commence- 
ment of their journey to the court of Charles of 
Burgundy. The state of Europe, and of the 
Helvetian Confederacy, has been already alluded 
to ; but, for the distinct explanation of our story, 
may be here briefly recapitulated. 

In the interval of a week, whilst the English 
travellers remained at Geierstein, meetings 
or diets, were held, as well of the City Can- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 167 

tons of the confederacy, as of those of the 
Forest* The former, aggrieved by the taxes im- 
posed on their commerce by the Duke of Bur- 
gundy, rendered yet more intolerable by the 
violence of the agents whom he employed in 
such oppression, were eager for war, in which 
they had hitherto uniformly found victory and 
wealth. Many of them were also privately in- 
stigated to arms by the largesses of Lewis XI., 
who spared neither intrigues nor gold to effect 
a breach betwixt these dauntless confederates 
and his formidable enemy, Charles the Bold. 

On the other hand, there were many reasons 
which appeared tp render it impolitic for the 
Switzers to engage in war with one of the most 
wealthy^ most obstinate, and most powerful 
princes in Europe, — forsuch unquestionably was 
Charles of Burgundy, — without the existence of 
some strong reason affecting their own honour 
and independence. Every day brought fresh 
intelligence from the interior, that Edward the 
Fourth of England had entered into a strict 
and intimate alliance, offensive and defensive, 
with the Duke of Burgundy, and that it was 


168 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

the purpose of the English King, renowned for 
his numerous victories over the rival House 
of Lancaster, by which, after various reverses, 
he had obtained indisputed possession of the 
throne, to re-assert his claims to those provinces 
of France, so long held by his ancestors. It 
seemed as if this alone were wanting to his 
fame, and that, having subdued his internal 
enemies, he now turned his eyes to the regain- 
ing of those rich and valuable foreign posses- 
sions which had been lost during the adminis- 
tration of the feeble Henry VI. and the civil 
discords so dreadfully prosecuted in the wars 
of the White and Red Roses. It was univer- 
sally known, that throughout England gene- 
rally, the loss of the French provinces was 
felt as a national degradation; and that not 
only the nobility, who had in consequence been 
deprived of the large fiefs which they had hekj 
in Normandy, Gascony, Maine, and Anjou, but 
the warlike gentry, accustomed to gain both 
fame and wealth at the expense of France, and 
the fiery yeomanry, whose bows had decided so 
many fatal battles, were as eager to renew the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 169. 

conflict, as their ancestors, of Cressy, Poitiers, 
and Agincourt, had been to follow their sove- 
reign to the fields of victory, on which their 
deeds had conferred deathless renown. 

The latest and most authentic intelligence 
bore, that the King of England was on the point 
of passing to France in person, (an invasion 
rendered easy by his possession of Calais,) with 
an army superior in numbers and discipline to 
any with which an English monarch had ever 
before entered that kingdom ; that all the hostile 
preparations were completed, and that the ar- 
rival of Edward might instantly be expected ; 
whilst the powerful co-operation of the Duke of 
Burgundy, and the assistance of numerous dis- 
affected French noblemen in the provinces which 
had been so long under the English dominion, 
threatened a fearful issue of the war to Lewis 
XI., sagacious, wise, and powerful, as that prince 
unquestionably was. 

It would no doubt have been the wisest policy 
of Charles of Burgundy, when thus engaging 
in an .alliance against his most formidable 
neighbour, and hereditary as well as personal 


170 ANNE OF GEIERSTJEIN. 

enemy, to have avoided all cause of quarrel with 
the Helvetian Confederacy, a poor but most 
warlike people, who already had been taught 
by repeated successes, to feel that their hardy- 
infantry could, if necessary, engage on terms of 
equality, or even of advantage, the flower of 
that chivalry, which had hitherto been consi- 
dered as forming the strength of European 
battle. But the measures of Charles, whom 
fortune had opposed to the most astucious and 
politic monarch of his time, were always dicta- 
ted by passionate feeling and impulse, rather 
than by a judicious consideration of the circum- 
stances in which he stood. Haughty, proud, 
and uncompromising, though neither destitute 
of honour or generosity, he despised and hated 
the paltry associations of herdsmen and shep- 
herds, united with a few towns which subsist* 
ed chiefly by commerce ; and instead of court* 
ing the Helvetian Cantons, like his crafty ene* 
my, or at least affording them no ostensible pre- 
tence of quarrel, he omitted no opportunity of 
showing the disregard and contempt in which he 
held their upstart consequence, and of evincing 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 171 

the secret longing which he entertained to take 
vengeance upon them for the quantity of noble 
blood which they had shed, and to compensate 
the repeated successes they had gained over 
the feudal lords, of whom he imagined himself 
the destined avenger. 

The Duke of Burgundy's possessions in the 
Alsatian territory afforded him many oppor- 
tunities for wreaking his displeasure upon the 
Swiss League. The little castle and town of 
Ferette, lying within ten or eleven miles of Bale, 
served as a thoroughfare to the traffic of Berne 
and Soleure, the two principal towns of the 
confederation. In this place the Duke posted 
a governor, or seneschal, who was also an ad- 
ministrator of the revenue, and seemed born 
on purpose to be the plague and scourge of his 
republican neighbours. 

Archibald von Hagenbach was a German no- 
ble, whose possessions lay in Suabia, and was 
universally esteemed one of the fiercest and 
most lawless of that frontier nobility, known by 
the name of Robber-knights and Robber-counts. 
These dignitaries, because they held their fiefs 


172 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

of the Holy Roman Empire, claimed as complete 
sovereignty within their territories of a mile 
square, as any reigning prince of Germany in 
his more extended dominions. They levied tolls 
and taxes on strangers, and imprisoned, tried, 
and executed those who, they alleged, had com* 
mitted offences within their petty domains. But 
especially, and in further exercise of their seig- 
norial privileges, they made war on each other, 
and on the Free Cities of the Empire, attacking 
and plundering without mercy the caravans, or 
large trains of waggons, by which the internal 
commerce of Germany was carried on. 

A succession of injuries done and received by 
Archibald of Hagenbach, who had been one of 
the fiercest sticklers for this privilege of fausU 
rechty or club-law, as it may be termed, had 
ended in his being obliged, though somewhat 
advanced in life, to leave a country where his 
tenure of existence was become extremely pre- 
carious, and to engage in the service of the Duke 
of Burgundy, who willingly employed him, as 
he was a man of high descent and proved va- 
Jour, and not the less, perhaps, that he was sure 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 173 

to find in a man of Hagenbach's fierce, rapaci- 
ous, and haughty disposition, the unscrupulous 
executioner of whatsoever severities it might be 
his master's pleasure to enjoin. 

The traders of Berne and Soleure, according- 
ly, made loud and violent complaints of Hagen- 
bach's exactions. The impositions laid on com- 
modities which passed through his district of 
La Ferette, to whatever place they might be 
ultimately bound, were arbitrarily increased, 
and the merchants and traders who hesitated to 
make instant payment of what was demanded, 
were exposed to imprisonment and personal 
punishment. The commercial towns of Ger- 
many appealed to the Duke against this ini- 
quitous conduct on the part of the Governor of 
La Ferette, and requested of his Grace's good* 
ness that he would withdraw Von Hagenbach ; 
but the Duke treated their complaints with con- 
tempt. The Swiss League carried their re- 
monstrances higher, and required that justice 
should be done on the Governor of La Ferette 
as having offended against the law of nations ; 


174 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIX. 

but they were equally unable to attract atten- 
tion or obtain redress. 

At length the Diet of the Confederation de- 
termined to send the solemn deputation which 
has been repeatedly mentioned. One or two of 
these envoys joined with the calm and prudent 
Arnold Biederman, in the hope that so solemn 
a measure might open the eyes of the Duke to 
the wicked injusticepf his representative ; others 
among the deputies, having no such peaceful 
views, were determined, by this resolute remon- 
strance, to pave the way for war. 

Arnold Biederman was an especial advocate 
for peace, while its preservation was compatible 
with national independence, and the honour of 
the confederacy; but the younger Philipson 
soon discovered that the Landamman alone, of 
all his family, cherished these moderate views. 
The opinion of his sons had been swayed and 
seduced by the impetuous eloquence and over- 
bearing influence of Rudolph of Donnerhugel, 
who, by some feats of peculiar gallantry, and 
the consideration due to the merit of his an- 
cestors, had acquired an influence in the coun- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 175 

oils of his native canton, and with the youth 
of the League in general, beyond what was 
usually yielded by these wise republicans to 
men of his early age. Arthur, who was now 
an acceptable and welcome companion of all 
their hunting parties and other sports, heard 
nothing among th« yonngmen but anticipations 
of war, rendered delightful by the hopes of booty 
and of distinction, which were to be obtained 
by the Switzers. The feats of their ancestors 
against the Germans had been so wonderful as 
to realize the fabulous victories of romance ; and 
while the present race possessed the same hardy 
limbs, and the same inflexible courage, they 
eagerly anticipated the sanie distinguished suc- 
cess. When the Governor of La Ferette was 
mentioned in the conversation, he was usually 
spoken of as the ban dog of Burgundy, or the 
Alsatian mastiff; and intimations were openly 
given, that, if his course were not instantly 
checked by his master, and he himself with- 
drawn from the frontiers of Switzerland, Archi- 
bald of Hagenbach would find his fortress no 
protection from the awakened . indignation of 

5 


176 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

the wi o n ge d inhabitants of Soleure, and parti- 
cularly of those of Berne. 

This general disposition to war among the 
yoong Switzers was reported to the elder Phi- 
lipson by hie eon, and led him at one time 
to hesitate whether he ought not rather to re- 
sume all the inconveniences and dangers of a 
journey, accompanied only by Arthur, than ran 
the risk of the quarrels in which he might 
be involved by the unruly conduct of these 
fierce mountain youths, after they should have 
left their own frontiers, Such an event would 
have had, in a peculiar degree, the effect of de- 
stroying every purpose of his journey ; but, re- 
spected as Arnold Biederman was by his fami- 
ly and countrymen, the English merchant con- 
cluded, upon the whole, that his influence would 
be able to restrain his companions until the 
great question of peace or war should be deter- 
mined, and especially until they should have 
discharged their commission by obtaining an 
audience of the Duke of Burgundy; and after 

this he should be separated from their society, 

ll 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTIEN. 177 

and not liable to be engaged in any responsibi- 
lity for their ulterior measures. 

After a delay of about ten days, the deputation 
commissioned to remonstrate with the Duke 
on the aggressions and exactions of Archibald 
of Hagenbach, at length assembled at Geier- 
stein, from whence the members were to journey 
forth together* They were three in number, be- 
sides the young Bernese* and the Landamman 
of Unterwalden* One was, like Arnold, a 
proprietor from the Forest Cantons, wearing a 
dress scarcely handsomer than that of a common 
herdsman, but distinguished by the beauty and 
size of his long silvery beard. His name was 
Nicholas Bonstetten. Melchior Sturmthal, ban- 
net-bearer of Berne, a man of middle age, and 
a soldier of distinguished courage, with Adam 
Zimmerman, a burgess of Soleure, who was 
considerably older, completed the number of 
the envoys. 

Each was dressed after his best fashion ; but, 
notwithstanding that the severe eye of Arnold 
Biederman censured one or two silver belt 
buckles, as well as a chain of the same metal, 

VOL. I. M 


178 ' ANNE OF GKIERSTEIN. 

which decorated the portly person of the Burgess 
of Soleure, it seemed that a powerful and victo- 
rious people, for such the Swiss were now to be 
esteemed, were never represented by an embassy 
of such patriarchal simplicity. The deputies 
travelled on foot, with their piked staves in 
their hands, like jfilgrtms bound for some place 
of devotion. Two mules, which bore their little 
stock of baggage, were led by young lads, sons 
or cousins of members of the embassy, who had 
obtained permission in this manner to get such 
a glance of the world beyond the mountains, as 
this journey promised to afford. 

But although their retinue was small, so 
far as respected either state or personal attend- 
ance and accommodation, the dangerous cir- 
cumstances of the times, and the very unsettled 
state of the country beyond their own terri- 
tories, did not permit men charged with affairs 
of such importance to travel without a guard. 
Even the danger arising from the wolves, which, 
when pinched by the approach of winter, have 
been known to descend from their mountain fast- 
nesses into open villages, such as those the tra- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 179 

vellers might choose to quarter in, rendered the 
presence of some escort necessary; and the bands 
of deserters from various services, who formed 
parties of banditti on the frontiers of AUatia 
and Germany, combined to recommend such a 
precaution* 

Accordingly, about twenty of the selected 
youth from the various Swiss cantons, inclu- 
ding Rudiger, Ernest, and Sigiemond, Arnold's 
three eldest sons, attended upon the deputation ; 
they did not, however, observe any military or- 
der, or march close or near to the patriarchal 
train. On the contrary, they formed hunting 
parties of five or six together, who explored the 
rocks, woods, and passes of the mountain*, 
through which the envoys journeyed. -Their 
slower pace allowed the active young men, who 
were accompanied by their large shaggy dogs, 
foil time to destroy wolves and bears, or occa- 
sionally to surprise a chamois among the cliffs ; 
while the hunters, even while in pursuit of their 
sport, tvere careful to examine such places as 
might afford opportunity for ambush, and thus 
ascertained the safety of the party whom they 


180 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

escorted, more securely than if they had attended 
close on their train. A peculiar note on the huge 
Swiss bugle, before described, formed of the horn 
of the mountain bull, was the signal agreed upon 
for collecting in a body should danger occur. 
Rudolf Donnerhugel, so much younger than his 
brethren in the same important commission, 
took the command of this mountain body guard, 
whom he usually accompanied in their sportive 
excursions. In point of arms, they tfrere well 
provided ; bearing two-handed swords, long par- 
tizans and spears, as Well as both cross and long 
bows, short cutlasses, and huntsmen's knives. 
The heavier weapons, as impeding their activi- 
ty, were carried with the baggage, but were 
ready to be assumed on the slightest alarm; 

Arthur Philipson, like his late antagonist, 
naturally preferred the company and sports of 
the younger men, to the grave conversation 
and slow pace of the fathers of the mountain 
commonwealth. There was, however, one temp- 
tation to loiter with the baggage, which, had 
other circumstances permitted,, might have re- 
conciled the young Englishman to forego the 


ANNE OF OEIERSTE1N. 181 

opportunities of sport which the Swiss youth so 
eagerly sought after, and endure the slow pace 
and grave conversation of the elders of the 
party. In a word, Anne of Geierstein, accom- 
panied by a Swiss girl her attendant, travelled 
in the rear of the deputation* 

The two females were mounted upon asses* 
whose slow step hardly kept pace with the bag- 
gage mules ; and it may be fairly suspected that 
Arthur Philipson, in requital of the import- 
ant services which he had received from that 
beautiful and interesting young woman, wotild 
have deemed it no extreme hardship to have 
afforded her occasionally his assistance on the 
journey, and the advantage of his conversa- 
tion to relieve the. tediousness of the way* But 
he dared not presume to offer .attentions which 
the. customs of the country did not seem to per* 
mit, since they were not attempted by any of 
the maiden's cousins, or even by Rudolf Don - 
nerhugel, who certainly had hitherto appeared 
to neglect no opportunity to recommend him- 
self to his fair cousin. Besides, Arthur had re- 
flection enough to be convinced, that in yield- 


182 , ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

ing to the feelings which impelled him to culti-* 
vate the acquaintance of this amiable young 
person, he would certainly incur the serious 
displeasure of his father, and probably also 
that of her uncle, by whose hospitality they bad 
profited, and whose safe-conduct they were in 
the act of enjoying. 

The young Englishman, therefore, pursued 
the same amusements whfeh interested the other 
young men of the party, managing only, as fre- 
quently as their halts permitted, to venture upon 
offering to the maiden such marks of Courtesy as 
could afford no room for remark or censure- 
Add his character as a sportsman being now well 
established* he sometimes permitted himself, 
even when the game was afoot, to loiter in the 
vicinity of the path on which he could at least 
mark the flutter of the grey wimple of Anne 
Of Geierstein* and the outline of the form which 
it shrouded* This indolence; as it seemed, wad 
hot unfavourably construed by his companions, 
being only accounted an indifference to the less 
noble or less dangerous game ; for when the ob- 
ject was a bear, wolf, or other animal of prey, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 183 

no spear, cutlass, or bow of the party, not even 
those of Rudolf Donnerbugel, were so prompt 
in the chase as those of the young Englishman. 
Meantime, the elder Philipson had other and 
more serious subjects of consideration* He was 
a man, as the reader must have already seen, 
of much acquaintance with the world, in which 
he had acted parts different from that which he 
now sustained. Former feelings were recalled 
and awakened, by the view of sports familiar 
to his early years. The clamour of the hounds, 
echoyig from the wild hills and dark forests 
through which they travelled; the sight of the 
gallant young huntsmen, appearing, as they 
brought the object of their chase to bay, amid 
airy cliffs and profound precipices, which seem-* 
ed impervious to the human foot ; the sounds 
of halloo and horn reverberating from hill to 
hill, had more than once wellnigh impelled 
him to take a share in the hazardous but ani- 
mating amusement, which, next to war, was 
then in most parts of Europe the most serious 
occupation of life. But the feeling was transient, 
and he became yet more deeply interested in 


184 ANNE OF GLlEUbTEiN. 

studying the manners and opinions of the per- 
sons with whom he was travelling* 

They seemed to be all coloured with the same 
downright and blunt simplicity which charac- 
terised Arnold Biederman, although it was in 
none of them elevated by the same dignity of 
thought or profound sagacity. In speaking of 
the political state of their country, they affect- 
ed no secrecy ; and although, with the excep- 
tion of Rudolf, their own young men were not 
admitted into their councils, the exclusion seem- 
ed only adopted with a view to the necessary 
subordination of youth to age, and not for the 
purpose of observing any mystery. In the pre- 
sence of the elder Philipson, they freely discuss- 
ed the pretensions of 4he Duke of Burgundy, 
the means which their country possessed of 
maintaining her independence, and the firm 
resolution of the Helvetian League to bid de- 
fiance to the utmost force the world could bring 
against it, rather than submit to the slightest 
insult. In other respects, their views appeared 
wise and moderate, although both the Banner** 
et of Berne, and the consequential Burgher of 


ANNE OF.GEIEKSTE1N. ' 185 

Soleure, seemed to hold .the, consequences of 
war more lightly than they were viewed by the. 
cautions Landamman of Unterwalden, and his 
venerable companion, Nicholas Bonstetten, who 
subscribed to all his opinions. 

It frequently happened, that, quitting these 
subjects, the conversation turnedon snch as were 
less attractive to their fellow-traveller* The 
signs of the weather, the comparative fertility of 
recent seasons, the moat advantageous mode of 
managing their orchards and rearing their crops, 
though interesting to the mountaineers them-, 
selves, gave Philipson slender amusement ; and 
notwithstanding that the excellent Meinherr 
Zimmerman of Soleure would firin have join* 
ed with him in conversation respecting trade 
and merchandise, yet the Englishman, who dealt 
in articles of small bulk and considerable value, 
and traversed sea and land to carry on his traffic, 
could find .few mutual topics to discuss with the 
Swiss trader, whose commerce only extended in- 
to the neighbouring districts of Burgundy and 
Germany, and whose goods consisted of coarse 


186 ANNE OF GfilEBSTEIN, 

woollen cloths, fustian, bides, peltry, and such 
ordinary articles. 

Bat, ever and anon, while the Switzers were 
discussing some paltry interests pf trade, or de- 
scribing some process of rude cultivation, or 
speaking of blights in grain, and the murrain 
amongst cattle, with all the doll minuteness 
of petty farmers aid traders met at a conn* 
try-fair, a well-known spot would recall the 
name and story of a battle in which som$ of 
them had served, (for there were none of the 
party who had not been repeatedly in arms,) 
and the military details, which in other coun- 
tries were only the therUe of knights and squires 
who had acted their part in them, or of learn-* 
ed clerks who laboured to record them, were, 
in this, singular region* 'the familiar and inti- 
mate subjects of diseusdon with men whose 
peacefal Occupations* teeemed to place them at 
an immeasurable distance from the profession 
of a soldier. This led the Englishman to think 
of the ancient inhabitants of Rome, where the 
plough was so readily exchanged for the sword, 
and the cultivation of a rude farm for the ma- 


ANNE OF GEIERStfclN. 187 


nagement of public affairs* He hinted this 
semblance to the Landamman, who was natural* 
ly gratified with the compliment to his eoantry, 
bat presently replied-—'* May Heaven continue 
among u* the homebred virtues of the Romans, 
and preserve as from their lust of conquest and 
love of foreign luxuries I" 

The slow pace of the travellers, with various 
• causes of delay, which it is unnecessary to dwell 
upon, occasioned the deputation" spending two 
nights on the road before they reached Bale- 
The small towns or villages in whieh they 
quartered, received them with such marks of 
respectful hospitality as they had the means to 
bestow, and their arrival was a signal for a little 
feast, with which the heads of the community 
uniformly regaled them. 

On such occasions, while the elders of the 
Village entertained the deputies of the Confe* 
deration, the young men of the escort were 
provided for by those of their own age* several 
of whom, usually aware of their approach, were 
accustomed to join in the chase of the day, and 


188 ANNE OF GE1ER6TE1N. 


made the strangers acquainted with the spot* 
where game was most plenty. 

These feasts were never prolonged to excess, 
and the most special dainties which composed 
them were kids, lambs, and game, the produce of 
the mountains. Yet it seemed both to Arthur 
Philipeon and his father, that the advantages of 
good cheer were more prized by the Banneret 
of Berne and the Burgess of Soleure, than by 
their host the Landamman, and the Deputy of 
jSchwitz* There was no excess committed, as 
we have already said; but the deputies first 
jnentioned obviously understood the art of se^ 
lecting the choicest morsels, and were connois- 
seurs in the good wine, chiefly of foreign growth, 
with which they freely washed it down. Arnold 
was too wise to censure what he had no means of 
amending ; he contented himself by observing 
in his own person a rigorous diet, living indeed 
almost entirely upon vegetables and fair water, 
in which he was closely imitated by the old grey- 
bearded Nicholas Bonstetten, who seemed to 
make it his principal object to follow the Lan- 
damman's example in every thing. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 189 

It Was, as We have already said, the third 
day after the commencement of their journey, 
before the Swiss deputation reached the vici- 
nity of Bale, in which city, then one of the lar- 
gest in the south-western extremity of Ger- 
many, they proposed taking up their abode for 
the evening, nothing doubting a friendly recep- 
tion* The town, it is true, was not then, nor 
till about thirty years afterwards, a part of the 
Swiss Confederation, to which it was only join- 
ed in 1501 ; but it was a Free Imperial City, 
connected with Berne, Soleure, Lucerne, and 
other towns of Switzerland, by mutual interests 
and constant intercourse. It was the object of 
the deputation to negotiate, if possible, a peace, 
Which could not be more useful to themselves 
than to the city of Bale, considering the inter- 
ruptions of commerce which must be occasion- 
ed by a rupture between the Duke of Burgun- 
dy and the Cantons, and the great advantage 
which that city would derive by preserving a 
neutrality, situated as it was betwixt these two 
hostile powers. 

They anticipated, therefore, as welcome a 


190 ANNE OF GEIBRSTE1N. 

reception from the authorities of B&le, as they 
had received while in the bounds of their own 
Confederation, since the interests of that city 
were so deeply concerned in the object* of their 
mission. The nejct chapter will show how far 
thesQ expectations were realized. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIK. 191 


CHAPTER VIII. 


They saw that city, welcoming the Rhine, 
As from his mountain heritage he hursts. 
As purposed proud Orgetorix of yore, 
Leaving the desert region of the hills, 
To lord it o'er the fertile plains of Gaul. 

Helvetia* 


The eyes of the English travellers, wearied 
with a succession of wild mountainous scenery, 
now gazed with pleasure upon a country, ptill 
indeed irregular and hilly in its surface, but 
capable of high cultivation, and adorned with 
cornfields and vineyards. The Rhine, a broad 
and large river, poured its grey stream in a 
huge sweep through the landscape, and divided 
into two portions the city of Bale, which is si- 
tuated on its banks. The southern part, to 
which their path conducted them, displayed 

16 


192 ANNE OF GEIERStEIN. 

the celebrated cathedral, and the lofty terrace 
which runs in front of it, and seemed to re- 
mind the travellers that they now approached a 
country in which the operations of man could 
make themselves distinguished even among the 
works of nature, instead of being lost, as the 
fate of the most splendid efforts of human la- 
bour must have been, among those tremen- 
dous mountains which they had so lately tra- 
versed. 

They were yet a mile from the entrance of 
the city, when the party was met by otie of the 
magistrates, attended by two or three citizens 
mounted on mules, the velvet housings of which 
expressed wealth and quality. They greeted the 
Landamman of Unterwalden and his party in 
a respectful manner, and the latter prepared 
themselves to hear, and make a suitable reply 
to, the hospitable invitation which they natural- 
ly expected to receive. 

The message of the community of Bale was, 
however, diametrically opposite to what they 
had anticipated. It was delivered with a good 
deal of diffidence and hesitation by the function- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 193 

ary who met than, and who certainly, while 
discharging his commission, did not appear to 
consider it as the most respectable which he 
might have home. There were many profes- 
sions of the most profound and fraternal regard 
for the cities of the Helvetian League, with 
whom the orator of Bale declared his own state 
to be united in friendship and interests. But 
lie ended by intimating, that, on account of cer- 
tain cogent and weighty reason*, which should 
be satisfactorily explained at more leisure, the 
Free City of Bale could not, this evening, receive 
within its walls the highly respected deputies, 
who were travelling, at the command of the Hel- 
vetian Diet, to the court of the Duke of Bur- 
gundy. 

Philipson marked with much interest the 
effect which this most unexpected intimation 
produced on the members of the embassage. 
Rudolf Donnerhugel, who had joined their com- 
pany as they approached Bale, appeared less 
surprised than his associates, and, while he re- 
mained perfectly silent, seemed rather anxious 
to penetrate their sentiments, than disposed to 

VOL. I. N 


194 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

express his own. It was not the first time 
the sagacious merchant had observed, that this 
bold and fiery young man could, when his pur- 
poses required it, place a strong constraint upon 
the natural impetuosity of his temper. For the 
others, the Banneret's brow darkened ; the face 
of the Burgess of Soleure became flushed like 
the moon when rising in the north-west ; the 
grey-bearded Deputy of Schwitz looked anxi- 
ously on Arnold Biederman ; and the Landam- 
man himself seemed more moved than was usual 
in a person of his equanimity* At length, he 
replied to the functionary of B&le, in a voice 
somewhat altered by his feelings : — 

" This is a singular message to the deputies 
of the Swiss Confederacy, bound as we are upon 
an amicable mission, from the citizens, of Bale, 
whom we have always treated as our good 
friends, and who still profess to be so. The shel- 
ter of their roofs, the protection of their walls, 
the wonted intercourse of hospitality, is what 
no friendly state hath a right to refuse to the in- 
habitants of another." 

" Nor is it with their will that the commu- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 195 

nity of Bale refuse it, worthy Landamman," re- 
plied the magistrate. " Not you alone, and your 
worthy associates, but your escort, and your 
very beasts .of burden, should, be entertained 
with all the kindness which the citizens of B&le 
could bestow — But we act under constraint." 

" And by whom exercised ?" said the Ban- 
neret, bursting out into passion. " Has the 
Emperor Sigismund profited so little by the 
example of his predecessors — r— " 

"The Emperor," replied the delegate of Bale, 
interrupting the Banneret, " is a well-inten- 
tioned and peaceful monarch, as he has beep 

ever ; but there are Bnrgundian troops, of 

late, marched into the Sundgaw, and messages 
have been sent to our state from Count Archi- 
bald of Hagenbach." 

" Enough said," replied the Landamman. 
" Draw not farther the veil from a weakness 
for which you blush. I comprehend you entire- 
ly. Bale lies too near the citadel of La Ferette 
to permit its citizens to consult their own incli- 
nations. Brother, we see where your difficulty 


196 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 


i— we pity you— and we forgive your in- 
hospitality." 

" Nay, Imt hear me to an end, worthy Lan- 
damman," answered the magistrate. " There 
. is here in the vicinity, an old hunting-seat of the 
Counts of Falkenstein, called Graft-lust, which, 
though ruinous, yet may afford better lodgings 
than the open air, and is capable of some defence, 
— though Heaven forbid that any one should 
dare to intrude upon your repose ! And hark ye 
hither, my worthy friends ; — if you find** the 
old place some refreshments, as wine, beer, and 
the like, use them without scruple, for they are 
there for your accommodation." 

" I do not refuse to occupy a place of secu- 
rity," said the Landamman ; "for although the 
causing us to be excluded from Bale may be only 
done in the spirit of petty insolence and malice, 
yet it may also, for what we can tell, be con- 
nected with some purpose of violence. Your 
provisions we thank you for ; but we will not, 
with my consent, feed at the cost of friends, 
who are ashamed to own us unless by stealth/' 
" One thing more, my worthy sir," said the 


ANNE OF GEIER6TEIN. 197 

official of BAle — " You hare a maiden in com- 
pany, who, I presume to think, is your daugh- 
ter. There is but rough accommodation where 
you are going, even for men ;— for women there 
is little better, though what we could we have, 
done to arrange matters as well as may be. But 
rather let your daughter go with us back to 
BAle, where my dame will be a mother to her, 
till next morning, when I will bring her to your 
camp in safety. We promised to shut our gates 
against the men of the Confederacy, but the 
women were not mentioned." 

" You are subtle casuists, you men of Bale," 
answered the Landamman; " but know, that 
from the time in which the Helvetians sallied 
forth to encounter Caesar down to the present 
hour, the women of Switzerland, in the press 
of danger, have had their abode in the camp 
of their fathers, brothers, and husbands, and 
feought no farther safety than they might find 
in the courage of their relations. We have 
enough of men to protect our women, and my 
niece shall remain with us, and take the fate 
which Heaven may send us." 


198 ANNE OF 9EIERSTEIN. 

• " Adieu then, worthy friend," said the ma- 
gistrate of B&Le ; " it grieves me to part with 
you thus, bat evil fate will have it so. Yon- 
der grassy avenue will conduct you to the old 
hunting-seat, where Heaven send that you may 
pass a quiet night; for, apart from other risks, 
men say that these ruins have no good name. 
Will you yet permit your niece, since such the 
young person is, to pass to Bale for the night 
in my company ?" » - • 

" If we are disturbed by beings, like our- 
selves," said Arnold Biederman, " " we have 
strong arms, and heavy partizans ; if we should 
be visited, as your words would imply,, by those 
of a different description," we have, or should 
have, good consciences, and confidence in Hea- 
ven.-*-Gdod* friends, my brethren on this em- 
bassy, have I spoken your sentiments as well as 
mine own ?" 

The other deputies intimated their assent to 
what their companion had said, and the citi- 
zens of Bale took a courteous farewell of their 
guests, endeavouring, by the excess of civility, 
to atone for their deficiency in effective hospi- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN* 199 

tality. After their departure, Rudolph was 
the first to express his sense of their pusillani- 
mous behaviour. " Coward dogs !" he said ; 
" may the Butcher of Burgundy flay the very 
skins from them with his exactions, to teach 
them to disown old friendships, rather than 
abide the lightest blast of a tyrant's anger !" 

" And not even; their own tyrant either," said 
another of the group, — for several of the young 
men had gathered round their seniors, to hear 
the welcome which they expected from the ma- 
gistrates of Bale. 

" No," replied Ernest, one of Arnold Bied- 
erman'8 sons, " they do not pretend that the Em- 
peror hath interfered with them ; but a word 
of the Duke of Burgundy, which should be no 
more to them than a breath of wind from the 
west, is sufficient to stir them to such brutal 
inhospitality. It were well to march to the 
city, and compel them at the sword's point to 
give us shelter." 

A murmur of applause arose amongst the 
youth around, which awakened the displeasure 
of Arnold Biederman. 


200 ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 

" Did I hear," he said, " thfe tongue of a son 
of mine, or was it that of a brutish Lanzknecht, 
who has no pleasure bat in battle or violence ? 
Where is the modesty of the youth of Switzer- 
land, who were wont to wait the signal for action 
till it pleased the elders of the canton to give 
it, and were as gentle as maidens till the voice of 
their patriarchs bade them be bold as lions?" 

" 1 meant no harm, father," said Ernest, 
abashed with this rebuke, " far less any slight 
towards you ; but I must needs sa y > ■ , " 

" Say not a word, my son," replied Arnold, 
" but leave our camp to-morrow by break of 
day ; and as thou takest thy way back to Geier- 
stein, to which I command thine instant return, 
remember, that he is not fit to visit strange 
countries, who cannot rule his tongue before his 
own countrymen, and to his own father." 

The Banneret of Berne, the Burgees of Soleure, 
even the long-bearded Deputy from Schwite, 
endeavoured to intercede for the offender, and 
obtain a remission of his banishment ; but it 
was in vain. 

" No, my good friends and brethren, no," 



ANNE OF GEI«RSTEIN, 201 

• 

replied Arnold. " These young men require an 
example ; and though I am grieved in one sense 
that the offence has chanced within my own fa- 
mily, yet I am pleased in another light, that 
the delinquent should be one over whom I can 
exercise full authority, without suspicion of 
partiality. — Ernest, my son, thou hast heard 
my commands: Return to Geierstein with the 
morning's light, and let me find thee an altered 
man when I return thither." 

The young Swiss, who was evidently much 
hurt and shocked at this public affront, placed 
one knee on the ground, and kissed his father's 
right hand, while Arnold, without the slightest 
sign of anger, bestowed his blessing upon him ; 
and Ernest, without a word of remonstrance, 
fell into the rear of the party. The deputation * 
then proceeded down the avenue which had 
been pointed out to them, and at the bottom of 
which arose the massy ruins of Graffs-lust ; but 
there was not enough of daylight remaining to 
discern their exact form. They could observe as 
they drew nearer, and as the night became 
darker, that three or four windows were light- 

n 2 


202 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

ed up, while the rest of the front remained ob- 
scured in gloom. When they arrived at the place, 
they perceived it was surrounded by a large 
and deep moat, the sullen surface of which 
reflected, though faintly, the glimmer of the 
lights within. 


•# 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 203 


CHAPTER VIII. 


Francisco, <Glve you good night. 
MarceUus. O, farewell, honest soldier. 
j Who hath relieved you f 

Francisco. Give you good night ; Bernardo hath my place. 

Hamlet. 


The first occupation of our travellers was to 
find the means of crossing the moat, and they 
were not long of discovering the tete-dt^poni on 
which the drawbridge, when lowered, had for- 
merly rested. The bridge itself had been long 
decayed, but a temporary passage of fir trees and 
planks had been constructed, apparently very 
lately, which admitted them to the chief en- 
trance of the castle. On entering it, they 
found a wieket opening under the . archway, 
which, glimmering with light, served to guide 
them to a hall prepared evidently for their ac- 
commodation as well as circumstances had ad- 
mitted of, 


204 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

A large fire of well-seasoned wood burned 
blithely in the chimney, and had been maintain- 
ed so long there, that the air of the hall, not- 
withstanding its great size and somewhat ruin- 
ous aspect, felt mild and genial. There was 
also at the end of the apartment a stack of 
wood, large enough to maintain the fire had 
they been to remain there a week. Two or three 
long tables in the hall stood covered and ready 
for their reception ; and, on looking more close- 
ly, several large hampers were found in a cor- 
ner, containing cold provisions of every kind, 
prepared with great care, for their immediate 
use. The eyes of the good Burgess of Soleure 
twinkled when he beheld the young men in the 
act of transferring the supper from the hampers, 
and arranging it on the table. 

" Well," said he, " these poor men of B&le 
have saved their character ; since, if they have 
fallen short in welcome, they have abounded 
in godd cheer." 

" Ah, friend !" said Arnold Biederman, 
" the absence of the landlord is a great deduc- 
tion from the entertainment. Better half an 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEJX. 205 

apple from the hand of your host, than a bridal 
feast without his company." 

" We owe them the less for their banquet," 
said the Banneret. " But, from the doubtful 
language they held, I should judge it meet to 
keep a strong guard to-night, and even that 
some of our young men should, from time to 
time, patrol around the old ruins. The place is 
strong and defensible, and so far our thanks are 
due to those who have acted as our quarter- 
masters. We will, however, with your permis- 
sion, my honoured brethren* examine the house 
within, and then arrange regular guards and 
patrols* — To your duty then, young men, and 
titiarch these ruins carefully, — they may per- 
chance contain more than ourselves ; for we are 
now near one who, like a pilfering fox, moves 
more willingly by night than by day, and seeks 
his prey amidst ruins and wildernesses rather 
than in the open field." 

All agreed to this proposal. The young men 
took torches, of which a good provision had 
been left for their use, and made a strict search 
through the ruins. 


306 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

The greater part of the castle was much 
more wasted and ruinous than the portion 
which the citizens of Bflle seemed to have des- 
tined for the accommodation of the embassy. 
Some parts were roofless, and the whole deso- 
late. The glare of light — the gleam of arms — 
the sound of. the human voice, and echoes of 
mortal tread, startled from their dark recesses 
bate, owls, and other birds of ill omen, the 
usual inhabitants of such time-worn edifices, 
whose flight through the desolate chambers re- 
peatedly, occasioned alarm amongst those who 
heard the noise without seeing the cause, and 
shouts of laughter when it became known. They 
discovered that the deep moat surrounded their 
place of retreat on all sides, and of course that 
they were in safety against tiny attack which 
could be made from without, except it waa 
attempted by the main entrance, which it was 
easy to barricade, and guard with sentinels* 
They also ascertained, by strict search, that 
though it was possible an individual might be 
concealed amid such a waste of ruins, yet it was 
altogether impossible that any number which 


ANNE OF OEIERSTEIN. 20? 

might be formidable to so large a party as their s 
own, could have remained there without a cer- 
tainty of discovery. These particulars were re- 
ported to the Banneret, who directed Donner- 
hugel to take charge of a body of six of the yoang 
men, such as he should himself choose, to patrol 
on the outside-of the building till the first cock- 
crowing, and at that hour to return to the cas- 
tle, when the same number were to take the 
duty till morning dawned, and then be relie- 
ved in their turn. Rudolf declared his own in* 

and as he was equally remarkable for vigilance 
as for strength and courage, the external watch 
was considered as safely provided for, it being 
settled that, in case of any sudden rencounter, 
the deep and hoarse sound of the Swiss bugle 
should be the signal for sending support to the 
patrolling party. 

Within side the castle, the precautions were 
taken with equal vigilance* A sentinel, to be 
relieved every two hours, was appointed to take 
post at the principal gate, and other two kept 
watch on the other side of the castle, although. 


206 ANNS OF GEIERSTEIN. 

the moat appeared to insure its safety in that 
quarter. 

These precautions being taken, the remain- 
der of the party sat down to refresh themselves, 
the deputies occupying the upper part of the hall, 
while those of their escort modestly arranged 
themselves in the lower end of the same large 
apartment. Quantities of hay and straw, which 
were left piled in the wide castle, were put to 
the purpose for which undoubtedly they had 
been destined by the citizens of B&le, and, with 
the aid of cloaks and mantles, were judged ex- 
cellent good bedding by a hardy race, who, in 
war or the chase, were often well satisfied with 
a much worse night's lair. 

The attention of the Balese had even gone so 
far as to provide for Anne of Geierstein sepa- 
rate accommodation, more suitable to her use 
than that assigned to the men of the party. 
An apartment, which had probably been the 
buttery of the castle, entered from the hall, and 
bad also a doorway leading out into a passage 
connected with the ruins; but this last had hasti- 
ly* yet carefully, been built up with large hewn 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 209 

stones taken from the ruins ; without mortar, 
indeed, or any other cement, but so well secu- 
red by their own weight, that an attempt to 
displace them must have alarmed not only any 
one who might be in the apartment itself, but 
also those who were in the hall adjacent, or in- 
deed in any part of the castle. In the small 
room thus carefully arranged and secured there 
were two pallet-beds and a large fire, which 
blazed on the hearth, and gave warmth and 
comfort to the apartment. Even the means of 
devotion were not forgotten, a small crucifix of 
bronze being hung over a table, on which lay a 
breviary. 

Those who first discovered this little place of 
retreat, came back loud in praise of the deli- 
cacy of the citizens of B&le, who, while pre- 
paring for the general accommodation of the 
strangers, had not failed to provide separately 
and peculiarly for that of their female compa- 
nion. 

Arnold Biederman felt the kindness of this 
conduct. " We should pity our friends of Bale, 
and not nourish resentment against them," he 


210 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

said. " They have stretched their kindness to- 
wards us as far as their personal apprehensions 
permitted ; and that is saying no small matter 
for them, my masters, for no passion is so un- 
utterably selfish as that of fear. — Anne, my 
love, thou art fatigued. Go to the retreat pro-, 
vided for you, and Lizette shall bring you from 
this abundant mass of provisions what will be 
fittest for your evening meal." 

So saying, he led his niece into the little bed- 
room, and, looking round with an air of com- 
placency, wished her good repose ; but there was 
something on the maiden's brow which seemed 
to augur that her uncle's wishes would not be 
fulfilled. From the moment she had left Swit- 
zerland, her looks had become clouded ; her in- 
tercourse with those who approached her had 
grown more brief and rare ; her whole appear- 
ance was marked with secret anxiety or secret 
sorrow. This did not escape her uncle, who na- 
turally imputed it to the pain of parting from 
hind, which was probably soon to take place, and 
to her regret at leaving the tranquil spot in which 
so many years of her youth had been spent. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 211 

Bat Anne of Geierstein had no sooner enter- 
ed the apartment, than her whole frame trem- 
bled violently, and the colour leaving her cheeks 
entirely, she sunk down on one of the pallets, 
where, resting her elbows on her knees, and 
pressing her hands on her forehead, she ra 7 
ther resembled a person. borne down by men- 
tal distress, or oppressed by some severe illness, 
than one who, tired with a journey, was in 
haste to betake herself to needful rest. Arnold 
was not quick-sighted as to the many sources 
of female passion. He saw that his niece suf- 
fered ; but imputing it only to the causes al- 
ready mentioned, augmented by the hysterical 
effects often produced by fatigue, he gently bla- 
med her for having departed from her character 
of a Swiss maiden ere she was yet out of reach 
of a Swiss breeze of wind. 

" Thou must not let the dames of Germany 
or Flanders think that our daughters have dege- 
nerated from their mothers ; else must we fight 
the battles of Sempach and Laupen over again, 
to convince the Emperor, and this haughty 
Duke of Burgundy, that our men are of the 


212 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

same mettle with their forefathers. And as for 
oar parting, I do not fear it. My brother is a 
Count of the Empire, indeed, and therefore he 
must needs satisfy himself that every thing over 
which he possesses any title shall be at his com- 
mand, and sends for thee to prove his right of 
doing so. But I know him well : He will no 
sooner be satisfied that he may command thy 
attendance at pleasure, than he will concern 
himself about thee no more* Thee ? Alas ! poor 
thing, in what couldst thou aid his .courtly in- 
trigues and ambitious plans ? No, no— thou art 
not for the noble Count's purpose, tod must be 
content to trudge back to rule the dairy at Geier- 
stein, and be the darling of thine old peasant- 
like uncle." 

" Would to God we were there even now !" 
said the maiden, in a tone of distress which she 
strove in vain to conceal or suppress. 

" That may hardly be till we have executed 
the purpose which brought us hither," said the 
literal Landamman. " But lay thee on thy 
pallet, Anne — take a morsel of food, aiid three 
drops of wine, and thou wilt wake to-morrow 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 213 

as gay as on a Swiss holiday, when the pipe 
sounds the reveillie." 

Anne was now able to plead a severe headaeb, 
and declining all refreshment, which she de- 
clared herself incapable of tasting, she bade her 
uncle good night. She then desired Lizette to 
get some food for herself, cautioning her, as she 
returned, to make as little noise as possible, and 
not to break her repose if she should have the 
good fortune to fall asleep. Arnold Bieder- 
man then kissed his niece, and returned to the 
hall, where his colleagues in office were impa- 
tient to commence an attack on the provisions 
which were in readiness ; to which the escort of 
young men, diminished by the patrols and sen- 
tinels, were no less disposed than their seniors. 

The signal of assault was given by the De- 
puty from Schwitz, the eldest of the party, 
pronouncing in patriarchal form a benediction 
over the meal. The travellers then commen- 
ced their operations with a vivacity, which show- 
ed that the uncertainty whether they should 
get any food, and the delays which had occur- 
red in arranging themselves in their quarters, 


214 ANNE OF GEIEItSTEIN. 

had infinitely increased their appetites. Even 
the Landamman, whose moderation sometimes 
approached to abstinence, seemed that night in 
a more genial humour than ordinary. His 
friend of Schwijz, after his example, ate, drank, 
and spoke more than usual ; while the rest of 
the deputies pushed their meal to the verge of a 
carousal. The elder Philipson marked the scene 
with an attentive and anxious eye, confining his 
applications to the wine-cup to such pledges as 
the politeness of the times called upon him to 
reply to. His son had left the hall just as the 
banquet began, in the manner which we are 
now to relate. 

Arthur had proposed to himself to join the 
youths who were to perform the duty of senti- 
nels within, or patrols on the outside of their 
place of repose, and had indeed made some ar- 
rangement for that purpose with Sigismund, 
the third of the Landamman's sons. But while 
about to steal a parting glance at Anne of Geier- 
stein, before offering his service as he proposed, 
there.' appeared on her brow such a deep and so- 
lemn expression, as diverted his thoughts from 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 215 

every other subject, excepting the anxious doubts 
as to what could possibly have given rise to such 
a change. The placid openness of brow ; the eye 
which expressed conscious and fearless inno- 
cence ; the lips which, seconded by a look as 
frank as her words, seemed ever ready to speak, 
in kindness and in confidence, that which the 
heart dictated, were for the moment entirely- 
changed in character "and expression, and in a 
degree find manner for which no ordinary cause 
could satisfactorily account. Fatigue might have 
banished the rose from the maiden's beautiful 
complexion, and sickness or pain might have 
dimmed her eye and clouded her brow. But 
the look of deep dejection with which sha fixed 
her eyes at times on the ground, and the start- 
led and terrified glance which she cast around 
her at other intervals, must have had their rise 
in some different source. Neither could illness or 
weariness explain the manner in which her lips 
were contracted or compressed together, like 
one who makes up her mind to act or behold 
something that is fearful, or account for the tre- 
mor which seemed at times to steal over her 

3 


216 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

insensibly, though by a strong effort she was 
able at intervals to throw it off. For this change 
of expression there must be in the heart some 
deeply melancholy and afflicting cause* What 
could that cause be ? 

It is dangerous for youth to behold beau- 
ty in the pomp of all her charms, with every 
look bent upon conquest-more dangerous to 
see her in the hour of unaffected and unap- 
prehensive ease and simplicity, yielding her- 
self to the graceful whim of the moment, and 
as willing to be pleased as desirous of plea- 
sing. There are minds which may be still 
more affected by gazing on beauty in sorrow, 
and feeling that pity, that desire of comfort- 
ing the lovely mourner, which the poet has 
described as so nearly akin to love. But to 
a spirit of that romantic and adventurous cast 
which the Middle Ages frequently produced, 
the sight of a young and amiable person evident- 
ly in a state of terror and suffering, which had 
no visible -cause, was perhaps still more im- 
pressive than beauty, in her pride, her tender- 
ness, or her sorrow. Such sentiments, it must 

7 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 217 

-be remembered, were not confined to the high- 
est ranks only, bat might then be found in all 
^classes of society which were raised above the 
mere peasant or artizan. .Young Philipson ga- 
jzed on Anne of Geierstein with such intense cu- 
riosity, mingled with pity and tenderness, that 
the bustling scen4 around him seemed to vanish 
from his eyes, and leave no one in the noisy hall 
4save himself and the object of his interest* 

What could it be that so evidently oppressed 
And almost quailed a spirit so well balanced, and 
a courage so well tempered, when, being guard* 
<ed by the swords of the bravest men perhaps to 
he found in Europe, and lodged in a place of 
strength, even the most timid of her sex might 
have found confidence ? Surely if an attack 
were to be made upon them, the clamour of a 
/conflict in such circumstances could scarce be 
more terrific than the roar of those cataracts 
which he had seen her despise ? At least, he 
thought, she ought to be aware that there is one, 
who is bound by friendship and gratitude to 
fight to the death in her defence. Would to 
heaven, he continued in the same reverie, it 

vol. i. o 


218 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

were possible to convey to her, without sign or 
speech, the assurance of my unalterable reso- 
lution to protect her in the wont of perils ! — 
As such thoughts streamed through his mind, 
Anne raised her eyes in one of those fits of deep 
feeling which seemed to overwhelm her ; and, 
while she cast them round the hall, with a look 
of apprehension, as if she expected to see amid 
the well-known companions of her journey some 
strange and unwelcome apparition, they en- 
countered the fixed and anxious gaze of young 
Philipson. They were instantly bent on the 
ground, while a deep blush showed how much 
she was conscious of having attracted his atten- 
tion by her previous deportment* 

Arthur, on his part, with equal conscious* 
ness, blushed as deeply as the maiden herself, 
and drew himself back from her observation. 
But when Anne rose up, and was escorted by 
her uncle to her bed-chamber, in the manner we 
have already mentioned, it seemed to Philipson 
as if she had carried with her from the apart- 
ment the lights with which it was illuminated, 
and left it in the twilight melancholy of some 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 219 

funeral hall. His deep musings were pursuing 
the subject which occupied them thus anxiously, 
when the manly voice of Donnerhugel spoke 
close in his ear— 

" What» comrade, has our journey to*day 
fatigued you so much that you go to sleep upon 
your feet ?" 

<c Now Heaven forbid, Hauptman," said the 
Englishman, starting from his reverie, and ad- 
dressing Rudolf by this name, (signifying Cap* 
tain, or literally Head-man,) which the youth of 
the expedition had by unanimous consent be* 
stowed on him,— "Heaven forbid I should sleep, 
if there be aught like action in the wind." 

" Where dost thou purpose to be at cock- 
crow?" said the Swiss. 

" Where duty shall call me, or your expe* 
rience, noble Hauptman, shall appoint," replied 
Arthur. " But, with your leave, I purposed to 
take Sigismund's guard on the bridge till mid- 
night or morning dawn. He still feels the sprain 
which he received in his spring after yonder 
chamois, and I persuaded him to take some 
uninterrupted rest, as the best mode of resto- 
ring his strength." 


220 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

" He will do well to keep his counsel, then/' 
again whispered Donnerhugel ; " the old Lan- 
damman is not a man to make allowances for 
mishaps, when they interfere with duty. Those 
who are under his orders should have as lew 
brains as a bull, as strong limbs as a bear, and 
be as impassible as lead or iron to all the casual* 
ties of life, and all the weaknesses of humanity." 

Arthur replied in the same tone : — " I have 
been the Landamm&n's guest for some time, and 
have seen no specimens of any such rigid disci- 
pline*" 

" You are a stranger," said the Swiss, " and 
the old man has too much hospitality to lay 
you under the least restraint. You are a volun- 
teer, too, in whatever share you choose to take in 
our sports or our military duty; and therefore, 
when I ask you to walk abroad with me at the 
first cock-crowing, it is only in the event that 
such exercise shall entirely consist with your 
own pleasure." 

" I consider myself as under your command 
for the time," said Philipson; " but, not to bandy 
courtesy, at cock-crow I shall be relieved from 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 221 

my watch on the draw-bridge, and will be by* 
that time glad to exchange the post for a more 
extended walk." 

" Do you not choose more of this fatiguing, 
and probably unnecessary duty, than may befit 
your strength ?" said Rudolf. 

" I take no more than you do," said Arthur, 
" as you propose not to take rest till morning." 

" True," answered Donnerhugel, "but I am 
a Swiss." 

" And I," answered Philipson quickly, " am 
an Englishman." 

" I did not mean what I said in the sense you 
take it," said Rudolf, laughing ; " I only meant, 
that I am more interested in this matter than 
you can be, who are a stranger to the cause in 
which we are personally engaged." 

" I am a stranger, no doubt," replied Ar- 
thur ; " but a stranger who has enjoyed your 
hospitality, and who, therefore, claims a right, 
while with you, to a share in your labours and 
dangers." 

" Be it so," said Rudolf Donnerhugel. " I 
shall have finished my first rounds at the hour 


222 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

when the sentinels at the castle are 

and shall be ready to recommence them in your 

good company.' 9 

" Content," said the Englishman. " And now 
I will to my post, for I suspect Sigismund is 
blaming me already, as oblivious of my pro- 


• 19 

mise. 


They hastened together to the gate, where 
Sigismund willingly yielded up his weapon and 
his guard to young Philipson, confirming the 
idea sometimes entertained of him, that he was 
the most indolent and least spirited of the fa- 
mily of Geierstein. Rudolf could not suppress 
his displeasure. 

" What would the Landamman say," he de- 
manded, " if he saw thee thus quietly yield up 
post and partizan to a strauger ?" 

" He would say I did well," answered the 
young man, nothing daunted ; " for he is for 
ever reminding us to let the stranger have his 
own way in every thing ; and English Arthur 
stands on this bridge by his own wish, and no 
asking of mine. — Therefore, kind Arthur, since 
thou wilt barter warm straw and a sound sleep 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 223 

for frosty air and a clear moon-light, I make thee 
welcome with all my heart. Hear your duty. 
You are to stop all who enter, or attempt to en- 
ter, till they give the pass- word. If they are 
strangers, you must give alarm. But you will 
suffer such of our friends as are known to you 
to pass outwards, without challenge or alarm, 
bseause the deputation may find occasion to send 
{ messengers abroad." 

" A murrain on thee, thou lazy loeel I" said 
Rudolf — " Thou art the only sluggard of thy 
kin." 

" Then am I the only wise man of them all," 
said the youth. — " Hark ye, brave Hauptman, 
ye have supped this evening, — have ye not?" 

" It is a point of wisdom, ye owl," answered 
the Bernese, " not to go into the forest fasting." 

" If it is wisdom to eat when we are hungry," 
answered Sigismund, " there can be no folly 
in sleeping when we are weary." So saying, 
and after a desperate yawn or two, the relieved 
sentinel halted off, giving full effect to the sprain 
of which he complained. 

" Yet there is strength in those loitering 


224 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

limbs, and valour in that indolent and sluggish 
spirit," said Rudolf to the Englishman* " But 
it is time that I, who censure others, should be- 
take me to my own task. — Hither, comrades of 
the watch, hither." 

The Bernese accompanied these words with 
a whistle, which brought from within six young 
men, whom he had previously chosen for the 
duty, and who, after a hurried supper, now wait- 
ed his summons. One or two of them had large 
bloodhounds or lyme-dogs, which, though more 
usually employed in the pursuit of animals of 
chase, were also excellent for discovering am- 
buscades, in which duty their services were now 
to be employed. One of these animals was held 
in a leash, by the person who, forming the ad- 
vance of the party, went about twenty yards 
in front of them ; a second was the property 
of Donnerhugel himself, who had the crea- 
ture singularly under command. Three of his 
companions attended him closely, and the tw<fe 
others followed, one of whom bore a horn of 
the Bernese wild bull, by way of bugle. 1 This 
little party crossed the moat by the temporary 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 225 

bridge, and moved on to the verge of the fo- 
rest, which lay adjacent to the castle, and the 
skirts of which were most likely to conceal any 
ambuscade that could be apprehended* The 
moon was now up, and near the full, so that 
Arthur, from the elevation on which the castle 
stood, could trace their slow, cautious march, 
amid the broad silver light, until they were lost 
in the depths of the forest. 

When this object bad ceased to occupy his 
eyes, the thoughts of his lonely watch again re- 
turned to Anne of Geierstein, and to the singu- 
lar expression of distress and apprehension which 
had that evening clouded her beautiful features* 
Then the blush which had chased, for the mo- 
ment, paleness and terror from her countenance, 
at the instant his eyes encountered hers— was 
it anger — was it modesty— was it some softer 
feeling, more gentle than the one, more tender 
than the other ? Young Philipson, who, like 
Ghaucer's Squire, was "as modest as a maid," 
almost trembled to give to that look the favour-* 
able interpretation, which a more self-satisfied 
gallant would have applied to it without scru- 

o2 


226 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

pie. No hue of rising or setting day was ever 
so lovely in the eyes of the young man, as that 
blush was in his recollection ; nor did ever en- 
thusiastic visionary, or poetical dreamer, find 
out so many fanciful forms in the clouds, as Ar- 
thur divined various interpretations from the 
indications of interest which had passed over the 
beautiful countenance of the Swiss maiden. 

In the meantime, the thought suddenly burst 
on his reverie, that it could little concern him 
what was the cause of the perturbation she had 
exhibited. They had. met at no distant period 
for the first time,-— they must soon part for ever* 
She could be nothing more to him than the re- 
membrance of a beautiful vision, and he could 
have no other part in her memory save as a 
stranger from a foreign land, who had been a 
sojourner for a season in her uncle's house, but 
whom she could never expect to see again* 
When this idea intruded on the train of roman- 
tic visions which agitated him, it was like the 
sharp stroke of the harpoon, which awakens the 
whale from torpidity into violent action. The 
gateway in which the young soldier kept his 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN, §2T 

watch seemed suddenly too narrow for him. He 
rushed across the temporary bridge, and hastily 
traversed a short space of ground in front of 
the t&e-du-pont) or defensive work, on which its 
outer extremity rested* 

Here for a time he paced the narrow extent 
to which he was confined by his duty as a sen* 
tinel, with long and rapid strides, as if he had 
been engaged by vow to take the greatest pos- 
sible quantity of exercise upon that limited 
apace of ground. His exertion, however, pro* 
duced the effect of in some degree composing 
his mind, recalling him to himself, and remind- 
ing him of the numerous reasons which prohi- 
bited his fixing his attention, much more his af- 
fections, upon this young person, however fas- 
cinating she was. 

I have surely, he thought, as he slackened his 
pace and shouldered his heavy partizan, sense 
enough left to recollect my condition and my 
duties — to think of my father, to whom I am all 
in all — and to think also on the dishonour which 
must accrue to me, were I capable of winning 
the affections of a frank-hearted and confiding 


228 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIX. , 

girl, to whom I could never do justice by dedi- 
cating my life to return them. " No/' he said 
to himself, " she will soon forget me, and I will 
study to remember her no otherwise than I 
would a pleasing dream, which hath for a mo- 
ment crossed a night of perils and dangers, such 
as my life seems doomed to be." 

As he spoke, he stopped short in his beat, and, 
as he rested on his weapon, a tear rose unbidden 
to his eye, and stole down his cheek without be- 
ing wiped away. But he combated this gentler 
mood of passion, as he had formerly battled with 
•that which was of a wilder and more desperate 
character. Shaking off the dejection and sink- 
ing of spirit which he felt creeping upon him, he 
resumed, at the same time, the air and attitude 
of an attentive sentinel, and recalled his mind to 
the duties of his watch, which, in the tumult 
of his feelings, he had almost forgotten. But 
what was his astonishment, when, as he looked 
out on the moonlight landscape, there passed 
from the bridge towards the forest, crossing him 
in the broad moonlight, the living and moving 
likeness of Anne of Geierstein ! 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 229 


CHAPTER IX. 


We know not when we sleep nor wben we wake. 

Visions distinct and perfect cross our eye, 

Which to the slumberer seem realities ; 

And while they waked, some men have seen such sights 

As set at nought the evidence of sense, 

And left them well persuaded they were dreaming. 

Anonymous, 


The apparition of Anne of Geier stein crossed 
her lover— her admirer, at least we must call 
him — within shorter time than we can tell the 
story. But it was distinct, perfect, and undoubt- 
ed. In the very instant when the young Eng- 
lishman, shaking off his fond despondency, rai- 
sed his head to look out upon the scene of his 
watch, she came from the nearer end of the 
bridge, crossing the path of the sentinel, upon 
whom she did not even cast a look, and passed 
with a rapid yet steady pace towards the verge 
of the woodland. 


230 ANN* OP GEIER8TEIN. 


It would have been natural, though Arthur 
had been directed not to challenge persons who 
left the castle, bat only such as might approach 
it, that he should nevertheless, had it only been 
in mere civility, have held some communication, 
however slight, Tpth the maiden as she crossed 
his post. But the suddenness of her appearance 
took from him for the instant both speech and 
motion. It seemed as if his own imagination 
had raised up a phantom, presenting to his out- 
ward senses the form and features which en-, 
grossed his mind ; and he was silent, partly at 
least from the idea, that what he gazed upon 
was immaterial and not of this world. 

It would have been no less natural that Anne 
of Geierstein should have in some manner ac- 
knowledged the person who had spent a con- 
siderable time under the same roof with her, 
had been often her partner in the dance, and 
her companion in the field; but she did not 
evince the slightest token of recognition, nor 
even look towards him as she passed ; her eye 
was on the wood, to which she advanced swift* 
ly and steadily, and she was hidden by its boughs 

11 


AWNE OF GEIERSTBJN, . 9S1 

ere Arthur bad recollected himself sufficiently 
to determine what to do. 

His first feeling was anger at himself for suf- 
fering her to paps unquestioned, when it might 
well chance, that upon any errand which called 
her forth at so extraordinary a time and place, he 
might have been enabled to afford her assistance, 
or at least advice. This sentiment was for a short 
time' so predominant, that he ran towards the 
place where he had seen the skirt of her dress 
disappear, and whispering her name as loud as 
the fear of alarming the castle permitted, con- 
jured her to return, and hear him but for a few 
brief moments. No answer, however, was re- 
turned ; and when the branches of the trees be- 
gan to darken over his head and to intercept the 
moonlight, he recollected that he was leaving his 
post, and exposing his fellow-travellers, wh« 
were trusting in his vigilance, to the danger of 
surprise. 

He hastened, therefore, back to the castle 
gate, with matter for deeper and more inextri- 
cable doubt and anxiety, than had occupied him 
during the commencement of his watch. Heask- 


232 ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 

ed himself in vain, with what purpose that mo- 
dest young maiden, whose manners were frank* 
bat Nthose conduct had always seemed so deli- 
cate and reserved, could sally forth at midnight 
like a damsel-errant in romance, when she was 
in a strange country and suspicious neighbour- 
hood ; yet he rejected, as he would have shrunk 
from blasphemy, any interpretation which could 
have thrown censure upon* Anne of Geierstein* 
No, nothing was she capable of doing for which 
a friend could have to blush. But connecting 
her previous agitation with the extraordinary 
fact of her leaving the castle, alone and de- 
fenceless, at such an hour, Arthur necessarily 
concluded it must argue some cogent reason, 
and, as was most likely, of an unpleasant na- 
ture. — " I will watch her return," he internally 
uttered, " and, if she will give me an oppor- 
tunity, I will convey to her the assurance that 
there is one faithful bosom in her neighbour" 
hood, which is bound in honour and gratitude 
to pour out every drop of its blood, if by doing 
so it can protect her from the slightest inconve- 
nience. This is no silly flight of romance, for 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 233 

• 

which common sense has a right to reproach 
me ; it is only what I ought to do, what I must 
do, or forego every claim to be termed a man 
of honesty or honour." 

Yet scarce did the young man think himself 
anchored on a resolution which seemed unob- 
jectionable, than his thoughts were again adrift. 
He reflected that Anne might have a desire to 
visit the neighbouring town of B&le, to which 
ehe had been invited the day before, and where 
her uncle had friends. It was indeed an un- 
common hour to select for such a purpose ; but 
Arthur was aware, that the Swiss maidens 
feared neither solitary walks nor late hours, and 
that Anne would have walked among her own 
hills by moonlight much farther than the dis- 
tance betwixt their place of encampment and 
Bale, to see a sick friend, or for any similar 
purpose. To press himself on her confidq^e, 
then, might be impertinence, not kindness ; 
and as she had passed him without taking the 
slightest notice of his presence, it was evident 
she did not mean voluntarily to make him her 
confident; and probably she was involved in no 


234 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

difficulties where hie aid could be useful. In 
that case, the duty of a gentleman was to per- 
mit her to return as she had gone forth, unno- 
ticed and unquestioned, leaving it with herself 
to hold communication with him or not as she 
should choose. 

Another idea proper to the age also passed 
through his mind, though it made no strong im- 
pression upon it. This form, so perfectly re* 
sembling Anne of Geierstein, might be a decep- 
tion of the sight, or it might be one of those fan- 
tastic apparitions, concerning which there were 
so many tajes told in all countries, and of which 
Switzerland and Germany had, as Arthur well 
knew, their full share. The internal and undefi- 
nable feelings which restrained him from accost- 
ing the maiden, as might have been natural for 
him to have done, are easily explained, on the 
supposition that his mortal frame shrunk from 
an encounter with a being of a different nature. 
There had also been some expressions of the ma- 
gistrate of Bale, which might apply to the castle a 
being liable to be haunted by beings from an- 
other world. But though the general belief in 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 235 

guch ghostly apparitions prevented the Eng- 
lishman from being positively incredulous on 
tbe subject, yet the instructions of his father, a 
man of great intrepidity and distinguished good 
sense, had taught him to be extremely unwilling 
to refer any thing to supernatural interferences, 
which was capable of explanation by ordinary 
rules ; and he therefore shook off, without diffi- 
culty, any feelings of superstitious fear, which 
for an instant connected itself with his noctur- 
nal adventure. He resolved finally to suppress 
all disquieting conjecture on the subject, and to 
await firmly, if not patiently, the return of the 
fair vision, which, if it should not fully explain 
the mystery, seemed at least to afford the only 
chance of throwing light upon it. 

Fixed, therefore, in purpose, he traversed the 
walk which his duty permitted, with his eyes 
fixed on the part of the forest where he had 
seen the beloved form disappear, and forgetful 
for the moment that his watch had any other 
purpose than to observe her return. But from 
this abstraction of mind he was roused by a 
distant sound in the forest, which seemed the 


236 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

clash of armour. Recalled at once to a sense 
of his duty, and its importance to his father and 
his fellow-travellers, Arthur planted himself 
on the temporary bridge, where a stand could 
best be made, and turned both eyes and ears 
to watch for approaching danger. The sound 
of arms and footsteps came nearer — spears and 
helmets advanced from the greenwood glade, 
and twinkled in the moonlight. But the state- 
ly form of Rudolf Donnerhugel, marching in 
front, was easily recognised, and announced to 
our sentinel the return of the patrol. Upon 
their approach to the bridge, the challenge, and 
interchange of sign and countersign, which is 
usual on such occasions, took place in due form ; 
and as Itudolf 's party filed off one after an- 
other into the castle, he commanded them to 
wake their companions, with whom he intend- 
ed to renew the patrol, and at the same time 
to send a relief to Arthur Philipson, whose 
watch on the bridge was now ended. This last 
fact was confirmed by the deep and distant 
toll of the Minster clock from the town of 
Bile, which, prolonging its sullen sound over 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN, 237 

field and forest, announced that midnight was 
past* 

" And now, comrade," continued Rudolf to 
tlie Englishman, " have the cold air and long 
watch determined thee to retire to food and 
rest, or dost thou still hold the intention of par- 
taking our rounds ?" 

In very truth it would *have been Arthur's 
choice to have remained in the place where he 
was, for the purpose of watching Anne of Geier- 
stein's return from her mysterious excursion. 
He could not easily have found an excuse for 
this, however, and he was unwilling to give the 
haughty Donnerhugel the least suspicion that 
he was inferior in hardihood, or in the power 
of enduring fatigue, to any of the tall moun- 
taineers, whose companion he was for the pre- 
sent. He did not, therefore, indulge even a 
moment's hesitation ; but while he restored the 
borrowed partizan to the sluggish Sigismund, 
who came from the castle yawning and stretch- 
ing himself like one whose slumbers had been 
broken by no welcome summons, when they 
were deepest and sweetest, he acquainted Ru- 


288 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

dolf that he retained his purpose of partaking 
in his reconnoitring duty. They were speedily 
joined by the rest of the patroling party, amongst 
whom was Rudiger, the eldest son of the Lan- 
damman of Unterwalden ; and when, led by the 
Bernese champion, they had reached the skirts 
of the forest, Rudolf commanded three of them 
to attend Rndiger Biederman. 

" Thou wilt make thy round to the left side," 
said the Bernese ; " I will draw off to the right 
— see thou keepest a good look-out, and we will 
meet merrily at the place appointed. Take one 
of the hounds with you. I will keep Wolf-fanger, 
who will open on a Burgundian as readily as on 
a bear." 

Rudiger moved off with bis party to the left, 
according to the directions received ; and Ru- 
dolf, having sent forward one of his< number in 
front, and stationed another in the rear, com- 
manded the third to follow himself and Arthur 
Philipson, who thus constituted the main body 
of the patrol. Having intimated to their imme- 
diate attendant to keep at such distance as to 
allow them freedom of conversation, Rudolf ad- 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 239 

dressed the Englishman with the familiarity 
which their recent friendship had created.— 
" And now, King Arthur, what thinks the Ma- 
jesty of England of our .Helvetian youth ? Could 
they win guerdon in tilt or tourney, thinkest 
thou, noble prince ? Or would they rank but 
amongst the coward knights of Cornouailles ?" 
" For tilt and tourney I cannot answer," said 
Arthur, summoning up his spirits to reply, " be* 
cause I never beheld one of you mounted on a 
steed, or having spear in rest. But if strong 
limbs and stout hearts are to be considered, I 
would match you Swiss gallants with those of 
any country in the universe, where manhood is 
to be looked for, whether it be in heart or 
hand-" 

" Thou speakest us fair ; and, young English* 
man," said Rudolf, " know that we think as 
highly of thee, of which I will presently afford 
thee a proof. Thou talked'st but now of horses* 
I know but little of them ; yet I judge thou 
wouldst not buy a steed which thou hadst only 
seen covered with trappings, or encumbered with 
saddle and bridle, but wouldst desire to look at 


240 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

him when stripped, and in his natural state of 
freedom ?" 

" Ay, marry, would I," said Arthur* " Thou 

# 

hast spoken on that as if thou hadst been born 
in a district called Yorkshire, which men call 
the merriest part of Merry England." 

" Then I tell thee," said Rudolf Donnerhugel, 
" that thou hast seen our Swiss youth but half, 
since thou hast seen them as yet only in their 
submissive attendance upon the elders of their 
Cantons, or, at most, in their mountain-sports, 
which, though they may show men's outward 
strength and activity, can throw no light on the 
spirit and disposition by which that strength and 
activity are to be guided and directed in matters 
of high enterpri8e. ,, 

The Swiss probably designed that these re- 
marks should excite the curiosity of the stranger. 
But the Englishman had the image, look, and 
form of Anne of Geierstein, as she had passed him 
in the silent hours of his watch, too constantly 
before him, to enter willingly upon a subject of 
conversation totally foreign to what agitated his 

mind* He, therefore, only compelled himself 

5 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 241 

to reply in civility, that he had no doubt bis 
esteem for the Swiss, both aged and young, 
would increase in proportion with his more 
intimate knowledge of the nation. 

He was then silent ; and Donnerhugel, dis- 
appointed, perhaps, at having failed to excite 
his curiosity, walked also in silence by his side* 
Arthur, meanwhile, was considering with him- 
self whether he should mention to bis compa- 
nion the circumstance which occupied his own 
mind, in the hope that the kinsman of Anne of 
Geierstein, and ancient friend of her house, 
might be able to throw some light on the sub- 
ject. 

But he felt within his mind an insurmount- 
able objection to converse with the Swiss on a 
subject in which Anne was concerned. That 
Rudolf made pretensions to her favour, could 
hardly be doubted; and though Arthur, had 
the question been put to him, must in common 
consistency have resigned all competition on 
the subject, still he could not bear to think on 
the possibility of his rival's success, and would 

VOL, I. £ 


242 ANNS OF GEIERSTEIN. 

not willingly have endured to hear him pro- 
nounce her name. 

Perhaps it was owing to this secret irritabi-i 
lity that Arthur, thongh he made every effort 
to conceal tad to overcome the sensation, still 
felt a secret dislike to Rudolf Donnerhugel, 
whose frank, hut somewhat coarse familiarity, 
was ifiingled with a certain air of protection 
and patronage, which the Englishman thought 
was by no means called for. He met the open- 
ness of the Bernese, indeed, with equal frank- 
ness, but he was ever and anon tempted to re- 
ject or repel the tone of superiority by which it 
was accompanied. The circumstances of their 
duel had given the Swiss no ground for such 
triumph ; nor did Arthur feel himself included 
in the roll of the Swiss youth, over whom Ru- 
dolf exercised domination, by general consent. 
So little did Philipson relish this affectation of 
superiority, that the poor jest, that termed him 
King Arthur, although quite indifferent to him 
when applied by any of the Biedennans, was 
rather offensive -when Rudolf took the same 
liberty; so that he often found himself in the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 243 

awkward condition of one who is internally 
irritated, without having any outward manner 
of testifying it with propriety. Undoubtedly, 
the root of all this tacit dislike to the young 
Bernese was a feeling of rivalry; but it was 
a feeling which Arthur dared not avow even 
to himself. It was sufficiently powerful, how- 
ever, to suppress the slight inclination he had 
felt to speak with Rudolf on the passage of the 
night, which bad most interested Jiim ; and as 
the topic of conversation introduced by his com- 
panion had been suffered to drop, they walk- 
ed on side by side in silence, " with the beard 
on the shoulder," as the Spaniard says, looking 
around, — that is, on all hands; and thus per- 
forming the duty of a vigilant watch. 

At length, after they had walked nearly a 
mile through forest and field, making a circuit 
around the ruins of Graffs-lust, of such an ex- 
tent as to leave no room for an ambush betwixt 
them and the place, the old hound, led by the 
vidette. who Was foremost, stopped, and uttered 
a low growl. 

" How, now, Wolf-fanger !" said Rudolf, ad- 


244 ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 

vancing, — " What, old fellow ! dost thou not 
know friends from foes ? Come, what sayest 
thou, on better thoughts? — Thou must not lose 
character in thy old age — try it again." 

The dog raised his head, snuffed the air all 
around, as if he understood what his master had 
said, then shook his head and tail, as if answer- 
ing to his voice. 

" Why, there it is now," said Donnerhugel, 
patting the animal's shaggy back; " second 
thoughts are worth gold ; thou seest it is a friend 
after all." 

The dog again shook his tail, and moved for- 
ward with the same unconcern as before; Rudolf 
fell back into his place, and his companion said 
to him— . 

"We are about to meet Rudiger and our com- 
panions, I suppose, and the dog bears their foot- 
steps, though we cannot." 

" It can scarcely yet be Rudiger," said the 
Bernese ; " his walk around the castle is of a 
wider circumference than ours. Some one ap- 
proaches, however, for Wolf-fanger is again dis- 
satisfied — Look sharply out on all sides*" 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 245 

As Rudolf gave his party the word to be on 
the alert, they reached an open glade, in which 
were scattered, at considerable distance from 
each other, some old pine trees of gigantic size, 
which seemed yet huger and blacker than or- 
dinary, from their broad sable tops and shat- 
tered branches being displayed against the clear 
and white moonlight. "We shall here, at least, 9 ' 
said the Swiss, " have the advantage of seeing 
clearly whatever approaches. But I judge/' 
said he, after looking around for a minute, " it 
is but some wolf or deer that has crossed our 
path, and the scent disturbs the hound — Hold 
—stop — yes, it must be so ; he goes on." 

The dog accordingly proceeded, after having 
given some signs of doubt, uncertainty, and even 
anxiety. Apparently, however, he became re- 
conciled to what had disturbed him, and pro- 
ceeded once more in the ordinary manner. 

" This is singular !" said Arthur Philipson ; 
" and, to my thinking, I saw an object close by 
yonder patch of thicket, where, as well as I can 
guess, a few thorn and hazle bushes surround 
the stems of four or five large trees.' 9 


246 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

/ 

/ 

" My eye has been on that very thicket for 
these five minutes past, and I saw nothing 1 ," said 
Rudolf. 

" Nay, but," answered the young English- 
man, " I saw the object, whatever it was, while 
you were engaged in attending to the dog. And 
by your permission, I will forward and examine 
the thicket." 

" Were you properly under my command," 
said Donnerhugel, " I would command you to 
keep your place. If they be foes, it is essential 
that we should remain together. But you are a 
volunteer in our watch, and therefore may use 
your freedom." 

" I thank you," answered Arthur, and sprung 
quickly forward. 

He felt, indeed, at the moment, that he was 
not acting courteously as an individual, or per- 
haps correctly as a soldier ; and that he ought 
to have rendered obedience, for the time, to the 
captain of the party in which he had enlisted 
himself. But, on the other hand, the object 
which he had seen, though at a distance and 
imperfectly, seemed to bear a resemblance to 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 247 

the retiring form of Anne of Geierstein, as she 
had vanished from his eyes, an hour or two be- 
fore, under the cover of the forest; and his un- 
governable curiosity to ascertain whether it 
might not be the maiden in person, allowed 
him to listen to no other consideration. 

Ere Rudolf had spoken out his few words 
of reply, Arthur was half-way to the thicket. 
It was, as it had seemed at a distance, of small 
extent, and not fitted to hide any person who 
did not actually couch down amongst the dwarf 
bushes and underwood. Any thing white, also, 
which bore the human size and form, must, 
he thought, have been discovered among the 
dark red stems and swarthy bushes which were 
before him. These observations were min- 
gled with other thoughts. If it was Anne of 
Geierstein whom he had a second time seen, 
she must have left the more open path, desirous 
probably of avoiding notice ; and what right or 
title had he to direct upon her the observation 
of the patrol ? He had, he thought, observed, 
that, in general, the maiden rather repelled than 
encouraged the attentions of Rudolf Donnerhu- 


248 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

gel ; or, where it would have been discourteous 
to have rejected them entirely, that she endured 
without encouraging them. What, then, could 
be the propriety of his intruding, upon her pri- 
vate walk, singular, indeed, from time and place, 
but which, on that account, she might be more 
desirous to keep secret from the observation of 
one who was disagreeable to her ? Nay, was it 
not possible that Rudolf might derive advantage 
to his otherwise unacceptable suit, by possessing 
the knowledge of something which the maiden 
desired to be concealed ? 

As these thoughts pressed upon him, Arthur 
made a pause, with his eyes fixed on the thicket, 
from which he was now scarce thirty yards dis- 
tant ; and although scrutinizing it with all the 
keen accuracy which his uncertainty and anxie- 
ty dictated, he was actuated by a strong feeling 
that it would be wisest to turn back to his com- 
panions, and report to Rudolf that his eyes had 
deceived him. ' 

But while he was yet undecided whether to 
advance or return, the object which he had 
seen became again visible on the verge of the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 249 

thicket, and advanced straight towards him, 
bearing, as on the former occasion, the exact 
dress and figure of Anne of Geierstein ! This 
vision — for the time, place, and suddenness of 
the appearance, made it seem rather an illusion 
than a reality — struck Arthur with surprise, 
which amounted to terror. The figure passed 
within a spear's-length, unchallenged by him, 
and giving not the slightest sign of recognition ; 
and, directing its course to the right hand of 
Rudolf, and the two or three who were with 
him, was again lost among the broken ground 
and bushes. 

Once more the young man was reduced to a 
-state of the most inextricable doubt ; nor was 
he roused from the stupor into which he was 
thrown, till the voice of the Bernese sounded 
in his ear, — " Why, how now, King Arthur- 
art thou asleep, or art thou wounded ?" 
, " Neither," said Philipson, collecting him- 
self; " only much surprised. 

" Surprised ! and at what, most royal 

" Forbear foolery," said Arthur, somewhat 

22 


99 


250 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

* 

sternly, " and answer as thou art a man— Du) 
she not meet thee ?— didst thou not see her ?' 

" See her ! — see whom ?" said Donnerhugel. 
w I saw no one* And I could have sworn you 
had seen no one either, for I had you in my eye 
the whole time of your absence, excepting two 
or three moments. If you saw aught, why gave 
you not the alarm ?" 

" Because it was only a woman,' 9 answered 
Arthur, faintly* 

" Only a woman !" repeated Rudolf, in a tone 
of contempt. " By my honest word, King Ar- 
thur, if I had not seen pretty flashes of valour 
fly from thee at times, I should be apt to think 
that thou hadst only a woman's courage thyself. 
Strange, that a shadow by night, or a precipice 
in the. day, should quell so bold a spirit as thou 
hast often shown——" 

" And as I will ever show, when occasion 
demands it," interrupted the Englishman, with 
recovered spirit. " But I swear to you, that if 
I be now daunted, it is by no merely earthly 
fears that my mind hath been for a moment 
subdued." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 251 

" Let us proceed on our walk/ 1 said Rudolf; 
" we must not neglect the safety of our friends* 
This appearance, of which thou speakest,maybe 
but a trick to interrupt our. duty/ 9 

They moved on through the moonlight glades. 
A minute's reflection restored young Philipson 
to his full recollection, and with that to the 
painful consciousness that he had played a ridi- 
culous and unworthy part in the presence of 
the person, whom (of the male sex, at least) he 
would the very last have chosen as a witness of 
hid weakness. 

He ran hastily over the relations which stood 
betwixt himself, Donnerhugel, theLandamman. 
his niece, and the rest of that family; and, 
contrary to the opinion which he had entertain- 
ed but a short while before, settled in his own 
mind that it was his duty to mention to the 
immediate leader under whom he had placed 
himself, the appearance which he had twice 
observed in the course of that night's duty. 
There might be family circumstances,— the pay- 
ment of a vow, perhaps, or some such reason, 
— which might render intelligible to her con- 


252 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

nexions the behaviour of this young lady* Be- 
sides, he was for the present a soldier on duty, 
and these mysteries might be fraught with evils 
to be anticipated or guarded against ; in either 
case, his companions were entitled to be made 
aware of what he had seen. It must be supposed 
that this resolution was adopted when the sense 
of duty, and of shame for the weakness which 
he had exhibited, had for the moment subdued 
Arthur's personal feelings towards Anne of 
Geierstein, — feelings, also, liable to be chilled 
by the mysterious uncertainty which the events 
of that evening had cast, like a thick mist, around 
the object of them. 

While the Englishman's reflections were ta- 
king this turn, his captain or companion, after 
a silence of several minutes, at length address- 
ed him. 

" I believe," he said, " my dear comrade* 
that, as being at present your officer, I have * 
some title to hear from you the report of what 
you have just now seen, since it must be some- 
thing of importance which could so strongly 
agitate a mind so firm as yours. But if, in 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN* 253 

your own opinion, it consists with the general 
safety to delay your report of what you have 
seen until we return to the castle, and then to 
deliver it to the private ear of the Landamman, 
you have only to intimate your purpose ; and, 
far from urging you to place confidence in me 
personally, though I hope I am not undeserving 
of it, I will authorize your leaving us, and re- 
turning instantly to the castle." 

This proposal touched him to whom it was 
made exactly in the right place. An absolute 
demand of his confidence might perhaps have 
been declined; the tone of moderate request 
and conciliation fell presently in with the Eng- 
lishman's own reflections. 

" I am sensible," he said, " Hauptman, that 
I ought to mention to you that which I have 
seen to-night ; but on the first occasion, it did 
not fall within my duty to do so ; and now that 
I have a second time witnessed the same ap- 
pearance, I have felt for these few seconds so 
much surprised at what I have seen, that even 
yet I can scarce find words to express it." 
- " As I cannot guess what you may have to 


254 ANN,E OF GEIERSTEIN. 

say/ 9 replied the Bernese, " I must beseech 
you to be explicit* We are but poor readers of 
riddles, we thick-beaded Switzers." 

" Yet it is but a riddle which I bare to place 
before you, Rudolf Donnerhugel," answered 
the Englishman, " and a riddle which is far 
beyond my own guessing at." He then proceed- 
ed, though not without hesitation, " While you 
were performing your first patrol amongst the 
ruins, a female crossed the bridge from within 
the castle, walked by my post without saying a 
single word, and vanished under the shadows of 
the forest" 

" Ha !" exclaimed Donnerhugel, and made 
no further answer* 

Arthur proceeded. " Within these five mi- 
nutes, the same female form passed me a second 
time, issuing from the little thicket and clump 
of firs, and disappeared, without exchanging a 
word. Know further, this apparition bore the 
form, face, gait, and dress of your kinswoman, 
Anne of Geierstein •" 

" Singular enough," said Rudolf, in a tone 
of incredulity. " I must not, I suppose, dis- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEJN. 255 

pate your word, for you would receive doubt 
on my part aa a mortal injury — such is your 
northern chivalry. Yet, let me say, I have eyes 
as well as you, and I scarce think they quitted 
you for a minute. We were not fifty yards from 
the place where I found you standing in amaze- 
ment. How, therefore, should not we also have 
seen that which you say and think you saw ?" 

" To that I can give no answer," said Ar- 
thur. " Perhaps your eyes were not exactly 
turned upon me during the short space in which 
I saw this form — Perhaps it might be visible 
—as they say fantastic appearances sometimes 
are — to only one person at a time." 

" You suppose, then, that the appearance was 
imaginary, or fantastic ?" said the Bernese. 

" Can I tell you ?" replied the Englishman. 
" The Church gives its warrant that there are 
such things ; and surely it is more natural to 
believe this apparition to be an illusion, than to 
suppose that Anne of Geierstein, a gentle and 
well-nurtured maiden, should be traversing the 
woods at this wild hour, when safety and pro- 


256 ANNE OF GE IE R STEIN* 

priety so strongly recommend her being within 
doors." 

"There is much in what yon say," said Ru- 
dolf ; " and yet there are stories afloat, though 
few care to mention them, which seem to allege 
that Anne of Geierstein is not altogether such 
as other maidens ; and that she has been met 
with, in body and spirit, where she could hardly 
have come by her own unassisted efforts." 

" Ha !" said Arthur ; " so young, so beauti- 
ful, and already in league with the destroyer of 
mankind ! It is impossible." 

" I. said not so," replied the Bernese ; " nor 
have I leisure at present to explain my meaning 
more fully. As we return to the castle of Graffs- 
lust, I may have an opportunity to tell you more. 
But I chiefly brought you on this patrol to in- 
troduce you to some friends, whom you will be 
pleased to know, and who desire your acquaint* 
ance ; and it is here I expect to meet them." 

So saying, he turned round the projecting 
corner of a rock, and an unexpected scene was 
presented to the eyes of the young Englishman* 

In a sort of nook, or corner, screened by the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 257 

rocky projection, there burned a large fire of 
wood, aud around it sat, reclined, or lay, twelve 
or fifteen young men in the Swiss garb, but 
decorated with ornaments and embroidery, 
which reflected back the light of the fire. The 
same red gleam was returned by silver wine- 
cups, which circulated from hand to hand with 
the flasks which filled them. Arthur could also 
observe the relics of a banquet, to which due 
honour seemed to have been lately rendered. 

The revellers started joyfully up at the sight 
of Doiinerhugel and his companions, and salu- 
ted him, easily distinguished as he was by his 
stature, by the title of Captain, warmly and 
exultingly uttered, while, at the same time, 
every tendency to noisy acclamation was cau- 
tiously suppressed. The zeal indicated -that 
Rudolf came most welcome — the caution that 
he came in secret, and was to be received with 
mystery* 

To the general greeting he answered, — " I 
thank you, my brave comrades. Has Rudiger 
yet reached you ?" 

" Thou see'st he has not,' 9 said one of the 


258 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

party ; " had it been so, we would have detain- 
ed him here till your coming, brave Captain." 

" He has loitered on his patrol," said the 
Bernese. " We too were delayed, yet we are 
here before him. I bring with me, comrades, the 
brave Englishman, whom I mentioned to yon as 
a desirable associate in our daring purpose." 

" He is welcome, most welcome to us," said 
a young man, whose richly embroidered dress 
of azure blue gave him an air of authority; 
" most welcome is he, if he brings with him a 
heart and a hand to serve our noble task." 

" For both I will be responsible," said Ru- 
dolf. " Pass the wine-cup, then, to the success 
of our glorious enterprise, and the health of 
this our new associate !" 

While they were replenishing the cups with 
wine of a quality far superior to any which 
Arthur had yet tasted in these regions, he 
thought it rjght, before engaging himself in the 
pledge, to learn the secret object of the asso- 
ciation which seemed desirous of adopting him. 

" Before I engage my poor services, to you, 
fair sirs, since it pleases you to desire them, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 259 

permit me," he said, " to ask the purpose and 
character of the undertaking in which they are 
to be employed?" 

" Shouldst thou have brought him hither," 
said the cavalier in blue to Rudolf, " without 
satisfying him and thyself on that point ?" 

" Care not thou about it, Lawrenz," replied 
the Bernese, " I know my man. — Be it known, 
then, to you, my good friend," he continued, 
addressing the Englishman, " that my comrades 
and I are determined at once to declare the 
freedom of the Swiss commerce, and to resist 
to the death, if it be necessary, all unlawful and 
extortionate demands on the part of our neigh- 
bours." 

" I understand so much," said the young 
Englishman, " and that the present deputation 
proceeds to the -Duke of Burgundy with re- 
monstrances to that effect." 

" Hear me," replied Rudolf. " The ques- 
tion is like to be brought to a bloody determi- 
nation long ere we see the Duke of Burgundy's 
most august and most gracious countenance. 
That his influence should be used to exclude 


260 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN* 

us from Bale, a neutral town, and pertaining 
to the empire, gives us cause to expect the worst 
reception when we enter his own dominions. 
We have even reason to think that we might 
have suffered from his hatred already, but for 
the vigilance of the ward which we have kept. 
Horsemen, from the direction of La Ferette, 
have this night reconnoitred our posts; and had 
they not found us prepared, we had, without 
question, been attacked in our quarters. But 
since we have escaped to-night, we must take 
care for to-morrow. For this purpose, a num- 
ber of the bravest youth of the city of Bale, 
incensed at the pusillanimity of their magi- 
strates, are determined to join us, in order to 
wipe away the disgrace which the cowardly in- 
hospitality of their magistracy has brought on 
their native place." 

" That we will do ere the sun, that "will rise 
two hours hence, shall sink into the western 
sky," said the cavalier in blue; and those around 
joined him in stern assent. 

" Gentle sirs," replied Arthur, when ther& # 
was a pause, " let me remind you that the em* 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 261 

* 

bassy which you attend is a peaceful one, and 
that those who act as its escort ought to avoid 
any thing which can augment the differences 
which it comes to reconcile. You cannot ex- 
pect to receive offence in the Duke's dominions, 
the privileges of envoys being respected in all 
civilized countries ; and you will, I am sure, de- 
sire to offer none." 

" We may be subjected to insult, however," 
replied the Bernese, " and that through your 
concerns, Arthur Philipson, and those of thy 
father." 

" I understand you not," replied Philipson. 

" Your father," answered Donnerhugel, "is a 
merchant, and bears with him wares of small 
bulk but high value ?" 

" He does so," answered Arthur ; " and what 
of that?" 

" Marry," answered Rudolf, " that if it be 
.not better looked to, the Bandog of Burgundy 
is like to fall heir to a large proportion of your 
silks, satins, and jewellery work." 

" Silks, satins, and jewels !" exclaimed ano- 
ther of the revellers ; " such wares will not 


262 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

pass toll-free where Archibald of Hagenbach 
hath authority." 

" Fair sirs," resumed Arthur, after a mo- 
ment's consideration, " these wares are my fa- 
ther's property, not mine; and it is for him, not 
me, to pronounce how much of them he might 
be content to part with in the way of toll, ra- 
ther than give occasion to a fray, in which his 
companions, who have received him into their 
society, must be exposed to injury as well as 
himself. I can only say, that he has weighty 
affairs at the court of Burgundy, which must 
render him desirous of reaching it in peace with 
all men ; and it is my private belief, that rather 
than incur the loss and danger of a broil with 
the garrison of La Ferette, he would be con- 
tented to sacrifice all the property which he has 
at present with him. Therefore, I must request 
of you, gentlemen, a space to consult his plea- 
sure on this occasion ; assuring you, that if it 
be his will to resist the payment of these du- 
ties to Burgundy, you shall find in me one who 
is fully determined to fight to the last drop of 
his blood." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 263 

" Good, King Arthur/' said Rudolf; " thou 
art a dutiful observer of the Fourth Command- 
ment, and thy days shall be long in the land. 
Do not suppose us neglectful of the same du- 
ty, although, for the present, we conceive our- 
selves bound, in the first place, to attend to the 
weal of our country, the common parent of our 
fathers and ourselves. But as you know our 
deep respect for the Landamman, you need not 
fear that we shall willingly offer him offence, by 
rashly engaging in hostilities, or without some 
weighty reason ; and an attempt to plunder his 
guest would have been met, on his part, with 
resistance to the death. I had hoped to find 
both you and your father prompt enough to 
resent such a gross injury. Nevertheless, if 
your father inclines to present his fleece to be 
shorn by Archibald of Hagenbach, whose scis- 
sors, he will find, clip pretty closely, it would 
be unnecessary and uncivil in us to interpose. 
Meantime, you have the advantage of knowing, 
that in case the governor of La Ferette should 
be disposed to strip you of skin as well as fleece, 

there are close at hand more men than you 

7 


264 ANNE OF GEIEHSTEIN. 

looked for, whom you will find both able and 
willing to render you prompt assistance." 

" On these terms," said the Englishman, " I 
make my acknowledgments to these gentle- 
men of B&le, or whatever other country hath 
sent them forth, and pledge them in a brother- 
ly cup to our farther and more intimate ac- 
quaintance." 

" Health and prosperity to the United Can- 
tons, and their friends !" answered the Blue 
Cavalier. " And death and confusion to all 
besides !" 

The cups Were replenished ; and instead of a 
shout of applause, the young men around tes- 
tified their devoted determination to the cause 
which was thus announced, by grasping each 
other's hands, and then brandishing their wea- 
pons with a fierce yet noiseless gesture. 

" Thus," said Rudolf Donnerhugel, " our il- 
lustrious ancestors, the fathers of Swiss inde- 
pendence, met in the immortal field of Rutli, 
between Uri and Unterwalden. Thus they 
swore to each other, under the blue firmament 
of heaven, that they would restore the liberty 

10 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 265 

of their oppressed country ; and history can tell 
how well they kept their word." 

" And she shall record," said the Blue Ca- 
valier, " how well the present Switzers can pre* 
serve the freedom which their fathers won.— 
Proceed in your rounds, good Rudolf, and be 
assured, that at the signal of the Hauptman, 
the soldiers will not be far absent ; — all is ar- 
ranged as formerly, unless you have new order* 
to give us." 

" Hark thee hither, Lawrenz," said Rudolf 
to the Blue Cavalier, — and Arthur could hear 
him say, — " Beware, my friend, that the Rhine 
wine be not abused ; — if there is too much pro* 
vision of it, manage to destroy the flasks ;— a 
mule may stumble, thou knowest, or so. Give 
not way to Rudiger in this. He is grown a 
wine-bibber since he joined us. We must bring 
both heart and hand to what may be done to- 
morrow." — They then whispered so low, that 
Arthur could hear nothing t>f their farther con- 
ference, and bid each other adieu, after clasping 
hands, as if they were renewing some solemn 
pledge of union. 

VOL. I. R 


266 AK*S OV GEJBWTEIN. 

Rudolf and, his party than moved forward, 
and were scarce out of sight of their new asso- 
ciates, when the vidette, or foremost of their 
patrol, gave the signal of alarm. Arthur's heart 
leaped to his lips—" It is Anne of Geierstein !" 
he said internally. 

" The dogs are silent," aaid the Bernese. 
" Those who approach must be the companions 
of our watch. 9 ' 

They proved, accordingly, to be Rudiger and 
his party, who, halting on the appearance of 
their comrades, made and underwent a formal 
challenge ; such advance had the Swiss already 
made in military discipline, which was but little 
studied by the infantry in other parts of Eu- 
rope. Arthur could hear Rudolf take his friend 
Rudiger to task for not meeting him at the halt- 
ing place appointed. " It leads to new revel- 
ry, on your arrival," he said, " and to-morrow 
must find us cool and determined." 

" Cool as an icicle, noble Hauptman," an- 
swered the son of the Landamman, " and deter- 
mined as the rock it hangs upon." 

Rudolf again recommended temperance, and 


I 


ANNE OF OEIERSTEIN. 267 

the young Biederman promised compliance. The 
two parties passed each other with friendly 
though silent greeting ; and there was soon a 
considerable distance between them. 
. The country was more open on the ride of 
the castle, around which their duty now led 
them, than where it lay opposite to the princi- 
pal gate. The glades were broad, the trees thin- 
ly scattered over pasture land, and there were 
no thickets, ravines, or similar places of ambush, 
so that the eye might, in the clear moonlight, 
well command the country. 

" Here," said Rudolf, " we may judge our- 
selves secure enough for some conference ; and 
therefore may I ask thee, Arthur of England, 
now thou hast seen us more closely, what think- 
est thou of the Switzer youth ? If thou hast 
learned less than I could have wished, thank 
thine own uncommunicative temper, which re- 
tired in some degree from our confidence," 

" Only in so far as I could not have answer- 
ed, and therefore ought not to have received it," 
said Arthur. " The judgment I have been en- 
abled to form amounts, in few words, to this : 


268 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

Your purposes are lofty and noble as your 
mountains ; but the stranger from the low coun- 
try is not accustomed to tread the circuitous 
path by which you ascend them* My foot has 
been always accustomed to move straight for- 
ward upon the greensward." 

" You speak in riddles," answered the Ber- 


" Not so," returned the Englishman. " I 
think you ought plainly to mention to your 
seniors, (the nominal leaders of young men 
who seem well disposed to take their own road,) 
that you expect an attack in the neighbourhood 
of La Ferette, and hope for assistance from some 
of the townsmen of Bile." 

" Ay, truly/ 9 answered Donnerhugel; "and 
the Landamman would stop his journey till he 
dispatched a messenger for a safe-conduct to 
the Duke of Burgundy ; and should he grant 
it, there were ap end of all hope of war." 

" True," replied Arthur; "but the Landam- 
man would thereby obtain his own principal 

* i 

object, and the sole purpose of the mission — 
that is, the establishment of peace. 91 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. £69 

" Peace—peace ?" answered the Bernese has- 
tily : " Were my wishes alone to be opposed to 
those of Arnold Biederman, I know so much of 
his honour and faith, I respect so highly his 
valour and patriotism, that at his voice I would 
sheathe my sword, even if my most mortal ene- 
my stood before me* But mine is not the single 
wish of a single man ; the whole of my canton, 
and that of Soleure, are determined on war* It 
was by war, noble war, that our fathers came 
forth from the house of their captivity — it was 
by war, successful and glorious war,, that a race, 
who had been held scarce so much worth think- 
ing on as the oxen which they goaded, emerged 
at once into liberty and consequence, and were 
honoured because they were feared, as much as 
they had been formerly despised because -they 
were unresisting." . 

" This may be all very true," said the young 
Englishman ; " but, in my opinion, the object 
of your mission has been determined by your 
Diet or House of Commons. They have re- 
solved to send you with others as messengers 
of peace ; but you are secretly blowing the coals 


270 ANNE O* GElERtfTBlK. 


•of war ; and while all, or most of four senior 
colleagues, are setting oat to-morrow in expec- 
tation of a peaceful journey, yon stand pre- 
pared for a combat, and look for the means of 
giving cause for it" 

" And is it not well that I do stand so pre- 
pared ?" answered Rudolf. " If our reception 
in Burgundy's dependencies be peaceful, as you 
say the rest of the deputation expect, my pre- 
cautious will be needless; but at least they can 
' do no barm. If it prove otherwise, I shaU be 
the means of averting a great misfot tune from 
my colleagues, my kinsman Arnold Biederman, 
my fair cousin Anne, your father, yourself— 
from all of us, in short, who are joyously tra- 
velling together." 

Arthur shook his head. " There is some- 
thing in all this," he said, " which I understand 
not, fend will not seek to understand. I only 
pray that you will not make my father's con- 
cerns the subject of breaking truoe ; it may, as 
you hint, involve the Landamman in a quarrel, 
which he might otherwise have avoided. I am 
sure my father will never forgive it." 


ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 271 

" I have pledged my word/ 9 said Rudolf, 
" already to that effect But if he should like 
the usage of the Bandog of Burgundy less than 
you seem to apprehend he will, there is no* 
harm in your knowing, that, in time of need, he 
may be well and actively supported." 

" I am greatly obliged by the assurance," re- 
plied the Englishman. 

. " And thou mayst thyself, my friend," con- 
tinued Rudolf, " take a warning from what 
thou hast heard : Men go not to a bridal ill 
-armour, nor to a brawl in a silken doublet." 

" I will be clad to meet the worst," said Ar- 
thur ; " and for that purpose I will don a light 
hauberk of well-tempered steel, proof against 
spear or, arrow ; and I thank you for your kind- 
ly counsel." 

" Nay, thank not me," said Rudolf; " I were 
ill deserving to be a leader did I not make those 
who are to follow me — more especially so trusty 
a follower as thou art— aware of the time when 
they should buckle on their armour, and pre- 
pare for hard blows." 

Here the conversation paused for a moment 


272 ANNS OF GEISRSTSIN. 

Or two, neither of the speakers being entirely 
contented with his companion, although neither 
pressed any farther remark. 
• The Bernese, judging from the feelings which 
he had seen predominate among the traders of 
his own country, had entertained little doubt 
that the Englishman, finding himself powerfully 
supported in point of force, would have caught 
at the opportunity to resist paying the exorbi- 
tant imposts with which he was threatened at 
the next town, which would probably, without 
any effort on Rudolf's part, have led to break- 
ing off the truce on the part of Arnold Bie- 
derman himself, and to an instant declaration 
of war. On the other hand, young Philipson 
-could not understand or approve of Donner- 
hqgel's conduct, who, himself a member of a 
Jttacef ill deputation, seemed to be animated with 
the purpose of seizing an opportunity to kindle 
the flames of war. ,+> 

Occupied by these various reflections, they 
walked side by side for some time without speak- 
ing together, until Rudolf broke silence. 

" Your curiosity is then ended, Sir English- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 273 

■ 

man," said he, " respecting the apparition of 
Anne of Geierstein ?" 

"Far from it,' 9 replied Philipson; "but I 
would unwillingly intrude any questions on you 
while you are busy with the duties of your pa- 
trol." 

" That may be considered as over/ 9 said the 
Bernese, " for there is not a bush near us to co- 
ver a Burgundian knave, and a glancQ around 
us from time to time is all that is now needful 
to prevent surprise. ' And so, listen while I tell 
'a tale, never sung or harped in hall or bower, 
and which, I begin to think, deserves as much 
credit, at least, as is due to the Tales of the 
Round Table, which ancient troubadours and 
minne-singers dole out to us as the authentic 
chronicles of your renowned namesake. 

" Of Anne's ancestors on the male side of 
the house," continued Rudolf, " I dare say you 
have heard enough, and are well aware how 
they dwelt in the old walls at Geierstein be- 
side the cascade, grinding their vassals, devour- 
ing the substance of their less powerful neigh- 
bours, and plundering the goods of the travel- 

r3 


Tt\ anne or aBixnsrara. 

lers whom ill luck sent within ken of the vul- 
ture's eyry, the one year ; and in the next, 
wearying the shrines for mercy for their tres- 
passes, overwhelming the priests with the wealth 
which they showered upon then*, and, finally, 
vowing vows, and making pilgrimages, some- 
times as palmers, sometimes, as crusaders, as far 
as Jerusalem itself, to alone for the iniquities 
whieH they had committed without hesitation or 
struggle of conscience." 

" Such, I have understood," replied the young 
Englishman, " was the history of the house of 
Geierstein, till Arnold, or his immediate ances- 
tors, exchanged the lance for the sheep-hook." 

" But it is said," .replied the Bernese, " that 
the powerful and wealthy Barons of Arnheim, of 
Swabia, whose only female descendant became 
the wife to Count Albert of Geierstein, and the 
mother of this young person, whom Swiss call 
simply Anne, and Germans Countess Anne of 
Geierstein, were nobles of a different caste. 
They did not restrict their lives within the limits 
of sinning and repenting,— -of plundering harm- 
less peasants, and pampering fat monks ; but 
were distinguished for something more than 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 275 

building castles with dungeons and torture- 
chambers, and founding monasteries with Gali- 
leos and Refectories* 

" These same Barons of Arnheim were men 
who strove to enlarge the boundaries of human 
knowledge, and converted their castle into a 
species of college, where there were more an- 
cient volumes than the monks have piled toge- 
ther in the library of St Gall. Nor were their 
studies in books alone. Deep buried in their 
private laboratories, they attained secrets which 
were afterwards transmitted through the race 
from father to son, and were supposed to have 
approached nearly to the deepest recesses of al- 
chemy. The report of their wisdom and their 
wealth was often brought to the Imperial foot- 
stool ; and in the frequent disputes which the 
Emperors maintained with the Popes of old, it 
is said they were encouraged, if not instigated, 
by the counsels of the Barons of Arnheim, and 
supported by their treasures. It was, perhaps, 
such a course of polities, joined to the unusual 
and mysterious studies which the family of Arn- 
heim so long pursued, that excited against them 


276 ANNS OF GEIER8TEIK. 

the generally received opinion, that they were 
assisted in their superhuman researches by su- 
pernatural influences. The priests were active 
in forwarding this cry against men, who, per- 
haps, had no other fault than that of bring wiser 
.than themselves. 

" * Look what guests/ they said, ' are re- 
ceived in the halls of Arnheim ! Let a Chris- 
tian knight, crippled in war with' the Saracens* 
present himself on the drawbridge, he is guer- 
doned with a crust and a cup of wine, and re* 
quired to pass on his way. If a palmer, redo- 
lent of the sanctity acquired by his recent visits 
to the most holy shrines, and by the sacred 
relics which attest and reward his toil, ap- 
proach the unhallowed walls, the warder bends 
his crossbow, and the porter shuts the gate, as 
if the wandering saint brought the plague with 
him from Palestine. But comes there a grey- 
bearded, glib-tongued Greek, with his parch- 
ment scrolls,*the very letters of which are painful 
to Christian eyes— comes there a Jewish Rabbin, 
with his Talmud and Cabala — comes there a 
swarthy sun-burnt Moor, who can boast of ha- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 277 

ving read the language of the Stars in Chaldea, 
the cradle of astrological science — Lo, the wan- 
dering impostor or sorcerer occupies the highest 
seat at the Baron of Arnheini's board, shares 
•with him the labours of the alembic and the fur- 
nace, learns from him mystic knowledge, like 
that of which our first parents participated to the 
overthrow of their race, and requites it with les- 
sons mote dreadful than he receives, till the pro- 
fane host has added to his hoard of unholy wis- 
dom, all that the pagan visitor can communi- 
cate. And these things are done in Almain, 
which is called the Holy Roman Empire, of 
which so many priests are princes ! — they are 
done, and neither ban nor monition is issued 
against a race of sorcerers, who, from age to age, 
go on triumphing in their necromancy !' 

" Such arguments, which were echoed from 
mitred Abbots to the cell of Anchorites, seem, 
nevertheless, to have made little impression on 
the Imperial council. But they served to excite 
the zeal of many a Baron and Free Count of the 
Empire, who were taught by them to esteem a 
war or feud with the Barons of Arnheim as par* 


278 AMITE OV GBlEBSTXItt. 

taking of the nature, and entitled to the immuni- 
ties, of acrusade against the enemies of the Faith, 
and to regard an attack upon these obnoxious 
potentates, as a mode of clearing off their deep 
scores with the Christian church. But the Lords 
of Arnhetm, though not seeking for quarrel, were 
by no means unwarlike, or averse to maintain* 
ing their owq defence. Some, on the contrary, 
belonging to this obnoxious race, were not the 
less distinguished as gallant knights and good 
men-at-arms. They were besides wealthy, secu- 
red and strengthened by great alliances, and in 
an eminent degree wise and provident. This the 
parties who assailed them learned to their cost 
" The confederacies formed against the Lords 
of Arnheim were broken up ; the attacks which 
their enemies meditated were anticipated and 
disconcerted; and those who employed actual 
violence were repelled with signal loss to the as* 
sailants : until at length an impression was pro- 
duced in their neighbourhood, that by their ac- 
curate information concerning meditated vio- 
lence, and their extraordinary powers of resist* 
ing and defeating it, the obnoxious Barons must 


ANNE OF GE1EHSTEIN. 279 

have brought to their defence means, which 
merely human force was incapable of overthrow- 
ing ; so that, becoming as much feared as hated, 
they were suffered for the last generation to re- 
main unmolested. And this was the rather the 
case, that the numerous vassals of this great 
house were perfectly satisfied with their feudal 
superiors, abundantly ready to rise in their de- 
fence, and disposed to believe, that, whether 
their lords were sorcerers or no, their own con- 
dition would not be mended by exchanging their 
government, either for the rule of the crusaders 
in this holy warfare, or that of the churchmen 
by whom it was instigated. The race of these 
barons ended in Herman von Arnheim, the ma- 
ternal grandfather of Anne of Geierstein. He 
was buried with his helmet, sword, and shield, 
as is the German custom with the last male of a 
noble family. 

" But he left an only daughter, Sybilla of 
Arnheim, to inherit a considerable portion of 
his estate ; and I never heard that the strong 
imputation of sorcery which attached to her 
house, prevented numerous applications, from 


280 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

persons of the highest distinction in the Empire* 
to her legal guardian, the Emperor, for the rich 
heiress's hand in marriage. Albert of Geierstein, 
however, though an exile, obtained the prefer- 
ence. He was gallant and handsome, which re- 
commended him to Sybilla ; and the Emperor, 
bent at the time on the vain idea of recovering 
his authority in the Swiss mountains, was desi- 
rous to shojv himself generous to Albert, whom 
he considered as a fugitive from his country for 
espousing the imperial cause. You may thus see, 
most noble King Arthur, that Anne of Geier- 
stein, the only child of their marriage, descends 
from no ordinary stock ; and that circumstances 
in which she may be concerned, are not to be 
explained or judged of so easily, or upon the 
same grounds of reasoning, as in the case of or- 
dinary persons." 

" By my honest word, Sir Rudolf of Donner- 
hugel," said Arthur, studiously labouring to 
keep a command upon his feelings, " I can see 
nothing in your narrative, and understand no- 
thing from it, unless it be, that, because in Ger- 
many, as in other countries, there have been fools 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 281 

who have annexed the. idea of witchcraft and 
sorcery to the possession of knowledge and wis- 
dom, you are therefore disposed to stigmatize a 
young maiden, who hasal ways been respected and 
beloved by those around her, as a disciple of arts 
which, I trust, are as uncommon as unlawful." 

Rudolf paused ere he replied. 

" I could have wished/' he said, " that you 
4 had been satisfied with the general character of 
Anne of Geierstein's maternal family, as offering 
-some circumstances which may account for what 
you have, according to your own report, this 
night witnessed, and I am really unwilling to 
go into more particular details. Tolio one can 
Anne of Geierstein's fame be so dear as to me. 
I am, after her uncle's family, her nearest rela- 
tive, and had she remained in Switzerland, or 
should she, as is most probable, return thither, 
perhaps our connexion might be drawn yet 
closer. This has, indeed, only been prevented by 
certain prejudices of her uncle's respecting her 
father's authority, and the nearness of our rela- 
tionship, which, however, comes within reach of 
a license very frequently obtained. But I only 


282 ANNE OF OlIERSTEIN. 

mention these things/ to show you how much 
more tender I must necessarily hold Anne of 
Geierstein's reputation, than it is possible for 
you to do, being a stranger, known to her but a 
short while since, and soon to part with her, as I 
understand your purpose, for ever/' 

The turn taken in this kind of apology irri- 
tated Arthur so highly, that it required all the 
reasons which recommended coolness, to enable 
him to answer with assumed composure. 

" I can have no ground, Sir Hauptman," he 
said, " to challenge any opinion which you may 
entertain of a young person with whom you are 
so closely connected* as you appear to be with 
Anne of Geierstein. I only wonder, that, with 
such regard for her as your relationship im- 
plies, you should be disposed to receive, on po- 
pular and trivial traditions, a belief which mast 
injuriously affeet your kinswoman, more espe- 
cially ode with whom you intimate a wish to 
form a stilt more close connexion. Bethink you, 
sir, that in all Christian lands, the imputation 
of sorcery is the most foul which can be thrown 
on Christian man or woman." 


ANNE OF GE1ERSTEIN. 283 

" And I am so far from intimating such an 
Imputation," said Rudolf, " that, by the good 
sword I wear, he that dared give breath to such 
a thought against Anne of Geierstein, must un- 
dergo my challenge,* and take my life, or lose 
his own. But the question is not whether the 
maiden herself practises sorcery, which he who 
avers had better get ready his tomb, and pro- 
vide for his soul's safety ; the doubt lies here, 
whether, as the descendant of a family whose 
relations with the unseen world are reported to 
have been of the closest degree, elvish and fan- 
tastical beings may not have power to imitate 
her form, and to present her appearance where 
she is not personally present — in fine, whether 
they have permission to play at her expense fan- 
tastical tricks, which they cannot exercise over 
other mortals, whose forefathers have ever re- 
gulated their lives by the rules of the church, 
and died in regular communion with it* And 
as I sincerely desire to retain your esteem, I 
have no objection to communicate to you more 
particular circumstances respecting her genea- 
logy, confirming the idea I have now expressed. 


884 ANNE OF GEIER8TEIN. 

But you will understand they are of the most 
private nature, and that I expect secrecy under 
the strictest personal penalty* 9 ' 

" I shall be silent, sir/' replied the young 
Englishman, still struggling with suppressed 
passion, " on every thing respecting the cha- 
racter of a maiden whom I am bound to respect 
so highly. But the fear of no man's displeasure 
can add a feather's weight to the guarantee of 
my own honour." 

" Be it so," said Rudolf; " it is not my wish 
to awake angry feelings; but I am desirous, 
both for the sake of your good opinion, which 
I value, and also for the plainer explanation of 

« 

what I have darkly intimated, to communicate 
to you what otherwise I would much rather 
have left untold." 

" You must be guided by your own sense of 
what is necessary and proper in the case," an- 
swered Philipson ; " but remember I press not 
on your confidence for the communication of 
any thing that ought to remain secret, far less 
where that young lady is the subject." 

Rudolf answered, after a minute's pause,— 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 285 

" Thou hast seen and heard too much, Arthur, 
not to learn the whole, or at least all that I 
know, or apprehend, on the mysterious subject. 
It is impossible but the circumstances must at 
times recur to your recollection, and I am desi- 
rous that you should possess all the information 
necessary to understand them as clearly as the 
nature of the facts will permit* We have yet, 
keeping leftward to view the bog, nearly a mile 
to make ere the circuit of the castle is. accom- 
plished. It will afford leisure enough for the 
tale I have to tell." 

" Speak on — I listen !" answered the Eng- 
lishman, divided between his desire to know all 
that it was possible to learn concerning Anne 
of Geierstein, his dislike to hear her name 
pronounced with such pretensions as those of 
Donnerhugel, and the revival of Jiis original 
prejudices against the gigantic Swiss, whose 
manners, always blunt, nearly to coarseness, 
seemed now marked by assumed superiority 
and presumption. He listened, however, to his 
wild tale, and the interest which he took in it 
soon overpowered all other sensations. 


286 ANNl OF OBIKRSTEm. 


CHAPTER X. 


Sonnerfrtgel'* $arratibe. 


These be the adept's doctrines— every element 
Is peopled with its separate race of spirits ; 
The airy sylphs on the blue ether float; 
Deep In the earthy carem skulks the gnome ; 
The sea-green Naiad skims the ocean-billow, 
And the fierce fire is yet a friendly home 
To its peculiar sprite — the Salamander. 


I told you, (said Rudolf,) that the Lords of 
Arnheim, though from father to son they were 
notoriously addicted to secret studies, were, ne- 
vertheless, like the other German nobles, fol- 
lowers of war and the chase. This was pecu- 
liarly the case with Anne's maternal grandfa- 
ther, Herman of Arnheim, who prided himself 
on possessing a splendid stud of horses, arid one 
steed in particular, the noblest ever known in 
these circles of Germany. I should make wild 

8 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N* 287 

work were I to attempt the description ef such 
an animal, so I will content myself with saying 
his colour was jet-black, without a hair of white 
either on his face or feet. For this reason, and 
the wildness of his disposition, his master had 
termed him Apollyon ; a circumstance which 
was secretly considered as tending to sanction 
the evil reports which touched the house of 
Arnheim, being, it w*s said, the naming of a fa- 
vourite animal after a foul fiend* 

It chanced,. one November day, that the Ba- 
ron had been hunting in the forest, and did 
not reach home till nightfall. There were no 
guests with him, for, as I hinted to you before, 
the castle of Arnheim seldom received any other 
than those from whom its inhabitants hoped te 
gain augmentation of knowledge* The Baron 
was seated alone in his hall, illuminated with 
cressets and torches* His one hand held a 
Tolume covered with characters unintelligible 
to all save himself. The other rested on the 
marble table, on which was placed a flask of * 
Tokay wine* A page stood in respectful at- 
tendance near the bottom of the large and dim 


288 ANNE OF GEIEH8TEIN. 

apartment, and no sound was heard save that 
of the night wind, when it sighed mournfully 
through the rusty coats of mail, and waved the 
tattered banners which were the tapestry of the 
feudal hall. At once the footstep of a person 
was heard ascending the stairs in haste and tre- 
pidation ; the door of the hall was thrown vio- 
lently open, and, terrified to a degree of ecstasy, 
Caspar, the head of the Baron's stable, or his 
master of horse, stumbled up almost to the foot 
of the table at which his lord was seated, with 
the exclamation in his mouth,— 

" My lord, my lord, a fiend is in the stable !" 

" What means this folly ?" said the Baron, 
arising, surprised and displeased at an inter- 
ruption so unusual* 

" Let me endure your displeasure," said Cas- 
par, " if I speak not truth ! Apollyon " 

Here he paused. 

• " Speak out, thou frightened fool," said the 
Baron ; " is my horse sick, or injured ?" 

The master of the stalls again gasped forth 
the word, " Apollyon !" • 

" Say on," said the Baron ; " were Apollyon 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEiN/ * 289 

in presence personally, it were nothing to shake 
a brave man's mind." 

N " The devil/' answered the master of the 
horse,..** is in Apollyon's stall !" 

« Fool V* exclaimed the nobleman, snatching 
a torch from the wall ; " what is it that could 
have turned thy brain in such silly fashion ? 
Things like thee, that are born to serve us, 
should hold their brains on a firmer tenure, for 
our sakes, if not for that of their worthless 
selves." 

As he spoke, he crossed the court-yard of the 
castle, to visit the stately range of stables 
' which Occupied all the lower part of the quad- 
rangle on one side. He entered, where fifty 
gallant steeds stood in rows, on each side of the 
ample hall. At the side of each stall hung the 
weapons of offence and defence of aman-at-arma, 
as bright as constant attention could make them, 
together with the buff-coat which formed the 
trooper's under garment. The Baron, follow-* 
ed by one or two of the domestics, who had as- 
sembled full of astonishment at the unusual 
alarm, hastened up betwixt the rowft of steeds. 

vol. i. s 


390 ANNE OF GE1EE3TEIN. 

As he approached the stall of his favourite horse, 
which was the uppermost of the right-hand row, 
the good steed neither neighed, nor shook his 
head, nor stamped with his foot, nor gave the 
usual signs of joy at his lord's approach ; a 
faint moaning, as if he implored assistance, was 
the only acknowledgment of the Baron's pre- 
sence. 

Sir Herman held up the torch, and discover- 
ed that there was indeed a tall dark figure stand- 
ing in the stall, resting his hand on the horse's 
shoulder. " Who art thou," said the Baron, 
" and what dost thou here ?" 

" I seek refuge and hospitality/' replied the 
stranger ; " and I conjure thee to grant it me, by 
the shoulder of thy horBe, and by the edge of thy 
sword, and so as they may never fail thee when 
thy need is at the utmost." 

" Thou art, then, a brother of the Sacred 
Fire," said Baron Herman of Arnheim ; " and 
I may not refuse thee the refuge which thou 
requirest of me, after the ritual of the Persian 
Magi. From whom, and for what length of time, 
dost thou tirave my protection ?" 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 291 

u From those," replied the stranger, " who 
shall arrive in quest of me before the morning 
cock shall crow, and for the fall space of a year 
and a day from this period." 

" I may not refuse thee," said the Baron, 
" consistently with my oath and my honour. 
For a year and a day I will be thy pledge, and thou 
shalt share with me roof and chamber, wine and 
food. But thou, too, must obey the law of Zo- 
roaster, which, as it says, Let the Stronger pro- 
tect the weaker brother, says also, let the Wiser 
instruct the brother who hath less knowledge. 
I am the stronger, and thou shalt be safe under 
my protection ; but thou art the wiser, and mast 
instruct me in the more secret mysteries." 

" You mock your servant," said the strange 
visitor ; " but if aught is known to Dannische- 
mend which can avail Herman, his instructions 
shall be as those of a father to a son." 

" Come forth then from thy place of refuge," 
said the Baron of Arnheim. " I swear to thee 
by the sacred fire which lives without terrestrial 
fuel, and by the fraternity which is betwixt us, 
and by the shoulder of my horse, and the edge 


292 AKNE OF GEIE&STEIN. 

of my good sword, I will be thy warrand for a 
year and a day, if bo far my power shall extend." 
The stranger came forth accordingly; and 
those who saw the singularity of his appearance, 
scarce Wondered at the fears of Caspar, the stall- 
master, when he found such a person in the 
stable, by what mode of entrance he was unable 
to conceive* When he reached the lighted hall 
to which the Baron conducted him, as he would 
have done a welcome and honoured guest, the 
stranger appeared to be very tall, and of a dig- 
nified aspect. His dress was Asiatic, being a 
long black caftan, or gown, like that worn by 
Armenians, and a lofty square cap, covered with 
the wool of Astracan lambs. Every article of 
the dress was black, which gave relief to the 
long white beard, that flowed down over his 
bosom. His gown was fastened by a sash of 
black silk net- work, in which, instead of a po- 
niard or sword, was stuck a silver case, contain- 
ing writing materials, and a roll of parchment, 
The only ornament of his apparel consisted in 
a large ruby of uncommon brilliancy, which, 
when he approached the light, seemed to glow 


ANNE O* GEIERSTEIN. 293 

with such liveliness, as if the gem itself had 
emitted the rays which it only reflected back* 
To the offer of refreshment} the stranger re- 
plied, " Bread I may not eat, water shall not 
moisten my lips, until the avenger shall have pas- 
feed by the threshold/' 

The Baron commanded the lamps to be trim- 
med, and fresh torches to be lighted, and sending 
his whole household to rest, remained seated in 
the hall along with the stranger, his suppliant. 
At the dead hour of midnight, the gates of the 
castle were shaken as by a whirlwind, and a 
voice, as if of a herald, was heard to demand his 
lawful prisoner, Dannischemend, the son of HalL 
The warder then heard a lower window of the 
hall thrown open, and could distinguish his 
master's voice addressing the person who had 
thus summoned the castle. But the night was so 
dark that he might hot see the speakers, and the 
language which they used was either entirely fo- 
reign, or so largely interspersed with strange 
words, that he could not understand a syllable 
which they said. Scarce five minutes had elapsed, 
when he who was without again elevated his voice 


294 ANNE OF GEIER6TE1N. 

as before, and said in German, " For a year and 
a day, then, I forbear my forfeiture; — bat coming 
for it when that time shall elapse, I come for my 
right, and will no longer be withstood." 
. From that periodDannischemend, the Persian, 
was a constant guest at the castle of Arnheim, 
and, indeed, never for any purpose crossed the 
drawbridge. His amusements, or studies, seem- 
ed centred in the library of the castle, and in 
the laboratory, where the Baron sometimes toil- 
ed in conjunction with him for many hours to- 
gether. The inhabitants of the castle could find 
no fault in the Magus, or Persian, excepting his 
apparently dispensing with the ordinances of re- 
ligion, since he neither went to mass nor con- 
fession, nor attended upon other religious cere- 
monies. The chaplain did indeed profess him- 
self satisfied with the state of the stranger's con- 
science ; but it had been long suspected, that the 
worthy ecclesiastic held his easy office on the 
very reasonable condition, of approving the prin- 
ciples, and asserting the orthodoxy, of all guests 
whom the Baron invited to share his hospita- 
lity. 


ANNE OF GEIER8TJBIN. 295 

It wag observed that Dannische mend was rigid 
La paying his devotions, by prostrating himself 
in the first rays of the rising sun, and that he 
constructed a silver lamp of the most beautiful 
proportions, which he placed on a pedestal, re- 
presenting a truncated column of marble, having 
its base sculptured with hieroglyphical imagery. 
With what essences he fed this flame was un*» 
known to all, unless perhaps to the Baron; 
but the flame was more steady, pure, and lus- 
trous, than any which was ever seen, excepting 
the sun of heaven itself, and it was generally 
believed that Dannischemend made it an object 
of worship in the absence of that blessed lumi- 
nary. Nothing else was observed of him, unless 
that his morals seemed severe, his gravity ex- 
treme, his general mode of life very temperate, 
and his lasts and vigils of frequent recurrence. 
Except on particular occasions, he spoke to no 
one of the castle but the Baron ; but, as he had 
money and was liberal, he was regarded by the 
domestics with awe indeed, but without fear or 
dislike. 

Winter was succeeded by spring, summer 


296 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

brought her flowers, and autumn her fruits, 
which ripened and were fading, when a foot- 
page, who sometimes attended them in the labo- 
ratory to render manual assistance when requi- 
red, heard the Persian say to the Baron of Am- 
heim, " You will do well, my son, to mark my 
words ; for my lessons to you are drawing to an 
end, and there is no power on earth which can 
longer postpone my fate." 

" Alas, my master !" said the Baron, " and 
must I then lose the benefit of your direction, 
just when your guiding hand becomes necessary 
to place me on the very pinnacle of the temple 
of wisdom ?" 

" Be not discouraged, my son," answered 
the sage ; " I will bequeath the task of perfect- 
ing you in your studies to my daughter, who 
will come hither on purpose. But remember, if 
you value the permanence of your family, look 
not upon her as aught else than a helpmate in 
your studies ; for if you forget the instructress 
in the beauty of the maiden, you will be buried 
with your sword and your shield, as the last 
male of your house ; and farther evil, believe me, 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEltf. &97 

will arise ; for such alliances never come to a 
happy issue, of which my own is an example. 
— But hush, we are observed.'* 

The household of the castle of Arnheim ha- 
ving but few things to interest them, were the 
more eager observers of those which came under 
their notice ; and when the termination of the 
period when the Persian was to receive shelter 
in the castle began to approach, some of the in- 
mates, tinder various pretexts, but which resol- 
ved into very terror, absconded, while others 
held themselves in expectation of some striking 
and terrible catastrophe. None such, however, 
took place ; and, on the expected anniversary, 
long ere the witching hour of midnight, Dan- 
nischemend terminated his visit in the castle of 
Arnheim, by riding away from the gate in the 
guise of an ordinary traveller. The Baron had 
meantime taken leave of his tutor with many 
marks of regret, and some which amounted even 
to sorrow. The sage Persian comforted him by 
a long whisper, of which the last part only was 
heard, — " By the first beam of sunshine she will 
be with you. Be kind to her, but not over kind.** 

s2 


298 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

He then departed, and was never again seen or 
heard of in the vicinity of Arnheim. 

The Baron was observed during all the day 
after die departure of the stranger to be parti- 
cularly melancholy. He remained, contrary to 
his custom, in the great hall, and neither visit- 
ed the library iyr the laboratory, where he could 
no longer enjoy the company of his departed in- 
structor. At dawn of the ensuing morning, Sir 
Herman summoned his page, and, contrary to 
his habits, which used to be rather careless in 
respect of apparel, he dressed himself with great 
accuracy \ and, as he was in the prime of life, 
and of a noble figure, he had reason to be sa- 
tisfied with his appearance. Having perform- 
ed his toilet, he waited till the sun had just 
appeared above the horizon, and, taking from 
the table the key of the laboratory, which the 
page believed must have lain there all night, 
he walked thither, followed by his attendant. 
At the door the Baron made a pause, and seem- 
ed at one time to doubt whether he should not 
send away the page, at another to hesitate whe- 
ther he should open the door, as one might do 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 299 

who expected some strange sight within* He 
pulled up resolution, however, turned the key, 
threw the door open, and. entered. The page 
followed close behind his master, and was as- 
tonished to the point of extreme terror at what 
he beheld, although the sight, however extraor- 
dinary, had in it nothing save what was agree- 
able and lovely* 

The silver lamp was extinguished, or remo- 
ved from its pedestal, where stood in place of it 
a most beautiful female figure in the JPersian 
costume, in which the colour of pink predomi- 
nated. But she wore no turban or head-dress 
of any kind, saying a blue ribband drawn 
through her auburn hair, and secured by a gold 
clasp, the outer side of which was ornamented 
by a superb opal, which, amid the changing 
lights peculiar to that gem, displayed a slight 
tinge of red like a spark of fire. 

The figure of this young person was rather 
under the middle size, but perfectly well formed ; 
the Eastern dress, with the wide trowsers gather- 
ed round the ankles, made visible the smallest 


300 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

and most beautiful feet which had ever been seen, 
while bands and arms of the most perfect sym- 
metry were partly seen from under the folds of 
the robe. The little lady's countenance was of 
a lively and expressive character, in which spirit 
and wit seemed to predominate ; and the quick 
dark eye, with its beautifully formed eye-brow, 
seemed to presage the arch remark, to which 
the rosy and half-smiling lip appeared ready to 
give utterance. 

The pedestal on which she stood, or rather 
was perched, would have appeared unsafe had 
any figure heavier than her own been placed 
there. But, however she had been transported 
thither, she seemed to rest on it as lightly and 
safely as a linnet, when it has dropped from the 
sky on the tendril of a rose-bud. The first beam 
of the rising sun, falling through a window di- 
rectly opposite to the pedestal, increased the 
effect of this beautiful figure, which remained as 
motionless as if it had been carved in marble. 
She only expressed her sense of the Baron of 
Arnheim's presence by something of a quicker 



ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 301 

respiration, and a deep blush, accompanied by a 
slight smile. 

Whatever reason the Baron of Arnheim might 
have for expecting to see some such object as 
now presented its actual presence, the degree 
of beauty which it exhibited was so much be- 
yond his expectation, that for an instant he 
stood without breath or motion. At once, how- 
ever, he seemed to recollect that it was his 
duty to welcome the fair stranger to his cas- 
tle, and to relieve her from her precarious si- 
tuation. He stepped forward accordingly with 
the words of welcome on his tongue, and was 
extending his arms to lift her from the pedestal, 
which was nearly six feet high ; but the light 
and active stranger merely accepted the support 
of his hand, and descended on the floor as light 
and as safe as if she had been formed of gossa- 
mer. It was, indeed, only by the momentary 
pressure of her little hand, that the Baron of 
Arnheim was made sensible that he had to do 
with a being of flesh and blood. 

" I am come as I have been commanded," 
she said, looking around her. " You must ex- 


302 ANNE OF GEIEESTEIN. 

pect a strict and diligent mistress, and I hope 
for the credit of an attentive pupil." 

After the arrival of this singular and interest- 
ing being in the castle ef Arnbeim, various al- 
terations took place within the interior of the 
household. A lady of high rank and small for- 
tune, the respectable widow of a Count of the 
Empire, who was the Baron's blood relation, re- 
ceived and accepted an invitation to preside 
over her kinsman's domestic affairs, and remove, 
by her countenance, any suspicions which might 
arise from the presence of Hermione, as the 
beautiful Persian was generally called. 

The Countess Waldstetten carried her com- 
plaisance so far, as to be present on almost all 
occasions, whether in the laboratory or library, 
when the Baron of Arnheim received lessons 
from, or pursued studies with, the youngand love- 
ly tutor who had been thus strangely substituted 
for the aged Magus. If this lady's report was to 
be trusted, their pursuits were of a most extraor- 
dinary nature, and the results which die some- 
times witnessed, were such as to create fear as 
well as surprise. But she strongly vindicated 


ANNE OF GEiERSTEIN. 303 

tbem from practising unlawful arts, or over- 
stepping the boundaries of natural science. 

A better judge of such matters, the Bishop of 
Bamberg himself, made a visit to Arnheim, on 
purpose to witness the wisdom of which so 
much was reported through the whole Rhine* 
country. He conversed with Hermione, and 
found her deeply impressed with the truths of 
religion, and so perfectly acquainted with its 
doctrines, that he compared her to a doctor of 
theology in the dress of an Eastern dancing-girl. 
When asked regarding her knowledge of lan- 
guages and science, heanswered, that he had been 
attracted to Arnheim by the most extravagant, 
reports on these points, but that he must return 
confessing " the half thereof had not been told 
unto him." 

In consequence of this indisputable testi- 
mony, the sinister reports which had been oc- 
casioned by the singular appearance of the fair 
stranger, were in a great measure lulled to 
sleep, especially as her amiable manners won the 
involuntary good-will of every one that ap- 
proached her. 


304 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

Meantime a marked alteration began to take 
place in the interviews between the lovely tutoi* 
and her pupil. These were conducted with the 
same caution as before, and never, so far as could 
be observed, took place without the presence 
of the Countess of Waldstetten, or some other 
third person of respectability. But the scenes 
of these meetings were no longer the scholar's li- 
brary, or the chemist's laboratory ; — the gardens, 
the groves, were resorted to for amusement, 
and parties of hunting and fishing, with evenings 
spent in the dance, seemed to announce that the? 
studies of wisdom were for a time abandoned 
for the pursuits of pleasure. It was not difficult 
to guess the meaning of this j the Baron of Ana- 
heim and his fair guest, speaking a language 
different from all others, could enjoy their pri- 
vate conversation, even amid all the tumult of 
gaiety around them ; and no one was surprised 
to hear it formally announced, after a few weeks 
of gaiety, that the fair Persian was to be wed- 
ded to the Baron of Arnheim. 

The manners of this fascinating young per- 
son were so pleasing, her conversation so ani- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 303 

mated, her wit so keen, yet so well tempered 
with good nature and modesty, that, notwith- 
standing her unknown origin, her high fortune 
attracted less envy than might have been ex- 
pected in a case so singular. Above all, her ge- 
nerosity amazed and won the hearts of all the 
young persons who approached her. Her wealth 
seemed to be measureless, for the jewels which 
she distributed among her fair friends would 
otherwise have left her without ornaments for 
herself. These good qualities, her liberality 
above all, together with a simplicity of thought 
and character, which formed a beautiful contrast 
to the depth of acquired knowledge which she 
was well known to possess, — these, and her total 
want of ostentation, made her superiority be 
pardoned among her companions. Still there 
was notice taken of some peculiarities, exagge- 
rated perhaps by envy, which seemed to draw a 
mystical distinction between the beautiful Her- 
mione and the mere mortals with whom she 
lived and conversed. 

In the merry dance she was so unrivalled in 
lightness and agility, that her performance seem- 


S06 ANNE OF GEIER6TEIN. 

ed that of an aerial being. She could, without 
suffering from her exertion, continue the plea- 
sure till she had-tired out the most active revel* 
lers ; and even the young Duke of Hochsprin- 
gen, who was reckoned the most indefatigable at 
that exercise in Germany, having been her part- 
ner for half an hour, was compelled to break off 
the dance, and throw himself, totally exhausted, 
on a couch, exclaiming, he had been dancing not 
with a woman, but with an ignis fatuus. 

Other whispers averred, that, while she played 
with her young companions in the labyrinth and 
mazes of the castle gardens at hide-and-seek, or 
similar games of activity, she became animated 
with the same supernatural alertness which was 
supposed to inspire her in the dance. She ap- 
peared amongst her companions, and vanished 
from them, with a degree of rapidity which was 
inconceivable; and hedges, treillage, or such 
like obstructions, were surmounted by her in a 
manner which the most vigilant eye could not 
detect ; for, after being observed on the other 
side of the barrier at one instant, in another 
she was beheld close beside the spectator. 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 307 

In such moments, when her eyes sparkled, her 
cheeks reddened, and her whole frame became 
animated, it was pretended that the opal clasp 
amid her tresses, the ornament which she ne- 
ver laid aside, shot forth the little spark, or 
tongue of flame, which it always displayed, 
with an increased vivacity. In the same man- 
ner, if in the twilight hall the conversation of 
Hermione became unusually animated, it was 
believed that the jewel became brilliant, and 
even displayed a twinkling and flashing gleam 
which seemed to be emitted by the gem itself, 
and not produced in the usual manner, by the 
reflection of some external light. Her maid- 
ens were also heard to surmise, that when their 
mistress was agitated by any hasty or brief re- 
sentment, (the only weakness of temper which 
she was ever observed to display,) they could 
observe dark-red sparks flash from the mystic 
brooch, as if it sympathized with the wearer's 
emotions. The women who attended on her 
toilette farther reported, that this gem was ne- 
ver removed but for a few minutes, when the 
Baroness's hair was combed out ; that she was 


308 Anne of geierstein. 

unusually pensive and silent during the time it 
was laid aside, and particularly apprehensive 
when any liquid was brought near it* Even in 
the use of holy water at the door of the church, 
she was observed to omit the sign of the cross 
on the forehead, for fear, it was supposed, of 
the water touching the valued jewel. 

These singular reports did not prevent the 
marriage of the Baron of Arnheim from pro* 
ceeding as had been arranged. It was celebra- 
ted in the usual form, and with the utmost splen- 
dour, and the young couple seemed to com- 
mence a life of happiness rarely to be found on 
earth. In the course of twelve months, the 
lovely Baroness presented her husband with a 
daughter, which was to be christened Sybilla, 
after the Count's mother. As the health of the 
child was excellent, the ceremony was postpo- 
ned till the recovery of the mother from her 
confinement ; many were invited to be present 
on the occasion, and the castle was thronged 
with company. 

It happened, that amongst the guests was an 
old lady, notorious for playing in private so- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN* 309 

oiety the part of a malicious fairy in a min- 
strel's talc. This was the Baroness of Stein* 
feldt, famous in the neighbourhood for her in- 
satiable curiosity and overweening pride. She 
had not been many days in the castle, ere, by 
the aid of a female attendant, who acted as an 
intelligencer, she had made herself mistress of 
rjl that was heard, said, or suspected concern- 
ing the peculiarities of the Baroness Hermione, 
It was on the morning of the day appointed for 
the christening, while the whole company were 
assembled in the hall, and waiting till the Ba- 
roness should appear, to pass with them to the 
chapel, that there arose between the censorious 
and haughty dame whom we have just mention-* 
ed, and the Countess Waldstetten, a violent dis- 
cussion concerning some point of disputed pre* 
cedence. It was referred to the Baron von Arn- 
heim, who decided in favour of the Countess. 
Madame de Steinfeldt instantly ordered her pal- 
frey to be prepared, and her attendants to mount. 
'* I leave this place," she said, u which a good 
Christian ought never to have entered; I leave a 
house of which the master is a sorcerer, the mis-* 


310 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

tress a demon who dares not cross her brow with 
holy water, and their trencher companion one, 
who for a wretched pittance is willing to act as 
match-maker between a wizard and an incar- 
nate fiend !" 

She then departed, with rage in her counte- 
nance, and spite in her heart. 

The Baron of Arnheim then stepped forward, 
and demanded of the knights and gentlemen 
around, if there were any among them who 
would dare to make good with his sword the 
infamous falsehoods thrown upon himself, his 
spouse, and his kinswoman. 

There was a general answer, utterly refusing 
to defend the Baroness of Steinfeldt's words in 
so bad a cause, and universally testifying the 
belief of the company that she spoke in the spi- 
rit of calumny and falsehood. 

" Then let that lie fall to the ground, which 
no man of courage will hold up," said the Baron 
of Arnheim; " only, all who are here this room- 
ing shall be satisfied whether the Baroness Her- 
mione doth or doth not share the rites of Chris- 
tianity." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIX. 311 

The Countess of Waldstetten made anxious 
signs to him while he spoke thus; and when 
the crowd permitted her to approach near him, 
she was heard to whisper, " O, be not rash ! 
try no experiment ! there is something myste- 
rious about that opal talisman ; be prudent, and 
let the matter pass by." 

The Baron, who was in a more towering pas- 
sion than well became the wisdom to which he 
made pretence-— although it will be perhaps 
allowed, that an affront so publie, and in such a 
time and place, was enough to shake the pru- 
dence of the most staid, and the philosophy of 
the most wise — answered sternly and briefly, 
" Are you, too, such a fool ?" and retained his 
purpose. 

The Baroness of Arnbeim at this moment en- 
tered the hall, looking just so pale from her late 
confinement, as to render her lovely counte- 
nance more interesting, if less animated, than 
usuaL Having paid her compliments to the as- 
' sembled company, with the most graceful and 
condescending attention, she was beginning to 
inquire why Madame de Steinfeldt was not pre- 


SI 2 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

sent, when her husband made the signal for the 
company to move forward to the chapel, and 
lent the Baroness his arm to bring up the rear. 
The chapel was nearly filled by the splendid 
company, and all eyes were bent on their host 
and hostess, as they entered the place of devo- 
tion immediately after four young ladies, who 
supported the infant babe in a light and beau- 
tiful litter. 

As they passed the threshold, the Baron dipt 
his finger in the font-stone, and offered holy 
water to his lady, who accepted it, as usual, by 
touching his finger with her own. But then, 
as if to confute the calumnies of the malevolent 
lady of Steinfeldi, with an air of sportive fami- 
liarity which was rather unwarranted by the 
time and place, he flirted on her beautiful fore- 
head a drop or two of the moisture which remain- 
ed on his own hand. The opal, on which one 
of these drops had lighted, shot out a brilliant 
spark like a falling star, and became the instant 
afterwards lightless and colourless as a com* 
mon pebble, while the beautiful Baroness sunk 

on the floor of the chapel with a deep sigh of 

10 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 313 

v 

pain. All crowded around her in dismay. The 
unfortunate Hermione was raised from the 
ground, and conveyed to her chamber; and 
so much did her countenance and pulse alter, 
within the short time necessary to do this, that 
those who looked upon her pronounced her a 
dying woman. She was no sooner in her own 
apartment than she requested to be left alone 
with her husband. He remained an hour in 
the room, and when he came out he locked and 
double locked the door behind him. He then 
betook himself to the chapel, and remained 
there for an hour or more, prostrated before the 
altar. 

In the meantime, most of the guests had dis- 
persed in dismay; though some abode out of 
courtesy or curiosity. There was a general 
sense of impropriety in suffering the door of the 
sick lady's apartment to remain locked; but, 
alarmed at the whole circumstances of her ill- 
ness, it was some time ere any one dared dis- 
turb the devotions of the Baron. At length 
medical aid arrived, and the Countess of Wald- 
stetten took upon her to demand the key. She 

VOL. I. T 


314 ANNE OF GEIEKSTEIN. 

spoke more than once to a. man, who seem- 
ed incapable of bearing, at least of understand- 
ing, what she said. At length he gave her the 
key, and added sternly, as he did so, that all 
aid was unavailing, and that it was his pleasure 
that all strangers should leave the castle. There 
were few who inclined to stay, when, upon 
opening the door of the chamber in which the 
Baroness had been deposited little more than 
two hours before, no traces of her could be* dis- 
covered, unless that there was about a hand- 
ful of light grey ashes, like such as might have 
been produced by burning fine paper, found on 
the bed where she had been laid. A solemn fu- 
neral was nevertheless performed, with masses, 
and all other spiritual rites, for the soul of the J 

high and noble Lady Hermione of Arnbeim ; 
and it was exactly on that same day three years 
that the Baron himself was laid in the grave of 
the same chapel of Arnheim, with sword, shield, 
and helmet, as the last male of his family. 

Here the Swiss paused, for they were ap- 
proaching the bridge of the castle of Graffs- 
lust. 




ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 315 


CHAPTER XL 


-Believe me, sir, 


It carries a rare form — But 'tis a spirit. 

The Tempest. 

There was a short silence after the Bernese 
had concluded his singular tale* Arthur Phi- 
lipson's attention had been gradually and in- 
tensely attracted by a story, which was too 
much in unison with the received ideas of the 
age to be encountered by the unhesitating in- 
credulity with which it must have been heard 
in later and more enlightened times. 

He was also considerably struck by the man- 
ner in which it had been told by the narrator, 
whom he bad hitherto only regarded in the light 
of a rude huntsman or soldier ; whereas he now 
allowed Donnerhugel credit for a more exten- 
sive acquaintance with the general manners of 
the world than he had previously anticipated. 


816 AVNE OF GEIERSTEIK, 

The Swiss rose in his opinion as a man of ta- 
lent, but' without making the slightest progress 
in his affections. " The swashbuckler," he said 
to himself, " has brains, as well, as brawn and 
bones, and is fitter for the office of commanding 
others than I formerly thought him." Then, 
turning to his companion, he thanked him for the 
tale, which had shortened the way in so interest- 
ing a manner. 

" And it is from this singular marriage," be . 
continued, " that Anne of Geierstein derives 
her origin?" 

" Her mother," answered the Swiss, " was 
Sybilla of Arnheim, the infant at whose chris- 
tening the mother died — disappeared — or what- ^ 
ever you may list to call it. The barony of 
Arnheim, being a male fief, reverted to the 
Emperor. The castle has never been inhabit- 
ed since the death of the last lord ; and has, as 
I have heard, become in -some sort ruinous. 
The occupations of its ancient proprietors, and, 
above all, the catastrophe of its last inhabitant, 
have been thought to render it no eligible place 
of residence." 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 317 

" Did there appear anything preternatural," 
said the Englishman, * " about the young Ba- 
roness, who married the brother of the Lan- 
damman ?" 

" So far as I have heard," replied Rudolf, 
" there were strange stories. It was said that 
the nurses, at the dead of night, have seen Her- 
mione, the last Baroness of Arnheim, stand 
weeping by the side of the child's cradle, and 
. other things to the same purpose. But here I 
speak from less correct information than that 
from which I drew my former narrative." 

" And since the credibility of a story, not 
very probable in itself, must needs be granted, 
or withheld, according to the evidence on which 
it is given, may I ask you," said Arthur, " to 
tell me what is the authority on which you 
have so much reliance ?" 

" Willingly," answered the Swiss. " Know 
that Theodore Donnerhugel, the favourite page 
.of the last Baron of Arnheim, was 1 my father's 
brother. Upon his master's death, he retired to 
his native town of Berne, and most of his time 
was employed in training me up to arms and 


318 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

martial exercises, as well according to the fa- 
shion of Germany as of Switzerland, for he was 
master of all. He witnessed with his own eyes, 
and heard with his own ears, great part of the 
melancholy and mysterious events which I have 
detailed to you. Should you ever visit Berne, 
you may see the good old man." 

" You think, then," said Arthur, " that the 
appearance which I have this night seen, is con- 
nected with the mysterious marriage of Anne of 
Geierstein's grandfather ?" 

" Nay," replied Rudolf, " think not that I 
can lay down any positive explanation of a thing 
so strange. I can only say, that, unless I did 
you the injustice to disbelieve your testimony 
respecting the apparition of this evening, I 
know no way to account for it, except by re- 
membering that there is a portion of the young 
lady's blood which is thought not to be derived 
from the race of Adam, but more or less direct- 
ly from one of those elementary spirits, which 
have been talked of both in ancient and modern 
times. But I may be mistaken. We will see 
how she bears herself in the morning, and whe- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTE1N. 319 

tber she carries in her looks the weariness and 
paleness of a midnight watcher. If she doth 
not, we may be authorized in thinking, either 
that your eye6 have strangely deceived you, or 
tha$ they have been cheated by some spectral 
appearance, which is not of this world." 

To this the young Englishman attempted no 
reply, nor was there time for any; for they 
were immediately afterwards challenged by the 
sentinel from the drawbridge. 

The question, " Who goes there ?" was twice 
satisfactorily answered, before Sigismund would 
admit the patrol to cross the drawbridge. 

" Ass and mule that thou art," said Rudolf, 
" what was the meaning of thy delay ?" 

" Ass and mule thyself, Hauptman !" said 
the Swiss, in answer to this objurgation. " I 
have been surprised by a goblin on my post 
once to-night already, and I have got so much 
experience upon that matter, that I will not 
easily be caught a second time." 

" What goblin, thou fool," said Donnerhugel, 
" would be idle enough to play his gambols at 
the expense of so very poor an animal as thou 
art?" 


390 ANNE OF GEIERSTKIN. 

" Thon art as cross as my father, Haupt- 
man," replied Sigismund, " who cries fool and 
blockhead at every word I speak ; and yet I 
have lips, teeth, and tongue to speak with, just 
like, other folk." 

" We will not contest the matter, Sigisf- 
mund," said Rudolf. " It is clear, that if thou 
dost differ from other people, it is in a particu- 
lar which thou canst be hardly expected to find 
out or acknowledge. But what, in the name of 
simplicity, is it which hath alarmed thee oh thy 
post ?" 

" Marry, thus it was, Hauptman," return- 
ed Sigismund Biederman. " I was something 
tired, you see, with looking up at the broad 
moon, and thinking what in the universe it 
could be made of, and how we came to see it 
just as well here as at home, this place being so 
many miles from Geierstein. I was tired, I 
say, of this and other perplexing thoughts, so I 
drew my fur cap down over my ears, for I 
promise you the wind blew shrill ; and then I 
planted myself firm on my feet, with one of my 
legs a little advanced, and both my hands rest- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 321 

ing on my partisan, which I placed upright be- 
fore me to rest upon ; and so I shut mine eyes/' 

" Shut thine eyes, Sigismund, and upon thy 
watch !" exclaimed Donnerhugel. 

" Care not thou for that," answered Sigis- 
mund ; " I kept my ears open. And yet it^was 
to little purpose, for something came upon the 
bridge with a step as stealthy as that of a mouse* 
I looked up with a start at the moment^it was 
opposite to me, and when I looked up— whom 
think you I saw ?" 

" Some fool like thyself," said Rudolf, at the 
same time pressing Philipson's foot to make 
him attend to the answer ; a hint which was little 
necessary, since he waited for it in the utmost 
agitation. Out it came at last. 

" By Saint Mark, it was our own Anne of 
Geierstein !" 

" It is impossible !" replied the Bernese. 

" I should have said so too," quoth Sigis- 
mund, " for I had peeped into her bed-room 
before she went thither, and it was so bedizen- 
ed that a queen or a princess might have slept 
in it; and why should the wench get out of 

t 2 


S22 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

her good quarters, with all her friends about 
her to guard her, and go out to wander in the 
forest ?" 

" May be," said Rudolf, " she only looked 
from the bridge to see how the night waned." 

" No," said Sigismund ; " she was returning 
from the forest. I saw her when she reached 
the end of the bridge, and thought of striking 
at her, conceiving it to be the devil in her like- 
ness. But I remembered my halbert is no birch 
switch to chastise boys and girls with ; and had 
I done Anne any harm, you would all have been 
angry with me, and, to speak truth, I should 
have been ill-pleased with myself; for although 
she doth make a jest of me now and then, yet 
it were a dull house ours were we to lose' Anne." 

" Ass," answered the Bernese, " didst thou 
speak to this form, or goblin, as you call it ?" 

" Indeed I did not, Captain Wiseacre. My 
father is ever angry with me when I speak with- 
out thinking, and I could not at that particu- 
lar moment think on any thing to the purpose. 
Neither was there time to think, for she passed 
me like a snow-flake upon a whirlwind. I march- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 323 

ed into the castle after her, however/ calling on 
her by name ; bo the sleepers were awakened, 
and men flew to their arms, and there was as 
much confusion as if Archibald of Hagenbach 
had been amongst us with sword and pike. And 
who should come out of her little bedroom, as 
much startled and as much in a bustle as any of 
ns, but Mistress Anne herself ! And as she pro- 
tested she had never left her room that night, 
why I, Sigismund Biederman, was made to stand 
the whole blame, as if I could prevent people's 
ghosts from walking. But I told her my mind 
when I saw them all so set against me. ' And 
Mistress Anne,' quoth I, ' it's well known the 
kindred you come of; and, after this fair notice, 
if you send any of your double-gangers to me, let 
them put iron skull-caps on their heads, for I 
will give them the length and weight of a Swiss 
halbert, come in what shape they list' However, 
they all cried c Shame on me !' and my father 
drove me out again, with as little remorse as if 
I had been the old house-dog, which had stolen 
in from bis watch to the fireside." 

The Bernese replfed, with an air of coldness 


SM ANNE OF GEIERSTKIN. 

approaching to contempt, " You have slept en 
your watch, Sigismund, a high military offence, 
and you have dreamed while yon slept. You were 
in good luck that the Landamman did not muk 
peet your negligence, or, instead of being sent 
back to your duty Hke a lazy watch-dog, you 
might have been scourged back like a faithless 
one to your kennel at Geierstein, as chanced to 
poor Ernest for a less matter.'* 

" Ernest has not yet gone baek though," said 
Sigismund, " and I think he may pass as far 
into Burgundy as we shall do in this journey. 
I pray you, however, Hauptman, to treat me 
not dog-like, but as a man, and send some one 
to relieve me, instead of prating here in the cold 
night air. *If there be any thing to do to-moiv 
row, as I well guess there may, a mouthful of 
food, and a minute of sleep, will be but a fitting 
preparative, and I have stood watch here these 
two mortal hours." 

With that the young giant yawned porten- 
tously, as if to enforce the reasons of his appeal* 

" A mouthful'and a minute ?" said Rudolf,-— 
* a roasted ox, and a lethargy like that of the 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 92ft 

Seven Sleepers, would scarce restore you to the 
use of your refreshed and waking senses. But I 
am your friend, Sigismund, and you are secure in 
my favourable report ; you shall be instantly re* 
lieved, that you may sleep, if it be possible, with- 
out disturbances from dreams. — Pass on, young 
men, (addressing the others, who by this time 
bad come up,) and go to your rest; Arthur of 
England and I will report to, the Landamman 
and the Banneret the account of our patrol." 

The patrol accordingly entered the castle, and 
were soon heard joining their slumbering com* 
panions. Rudolf Donnerhugel seized Arthur's 
arm, and, while they went towards the hall, 
whispered in his ear,— 

« These are strange passages U-How think 
you we should report them to the Deputation ?" 

" That I must refer to yourself," said Arthur ; 
*' you are the captain of our watch. I have done 
my duty in telling you what I saw — or thought 
I saw— it is for you to judge how far it is fitting 
to communicate it to the Landamman ; only, as 
it concerns the honour of his family, to his ear 
alone I think it should be confided.' 9 


826 ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

" I see no occasion for that," said the Bernese 
hastily ; " it cannot affect or interest onr general 
safety. But I may take occasion hereafter to 
speak with Anne on this subject." 

This latter hint gave as much pain to Arthur, 
as the general proposal of silence on an affair so 
delicate had afforded him satisfaction. But his 
uneasiness was of a kind which he felt it ne- 
cessary to suppress, and he therefore replied 
with as much composure as he could assume :— 

"You will act, Sir Hauptman, as your sense 
of duty and delicacy shall dictate. For me, I shall 
be silent on what you call the strange passages 
of the night, rendered doubly wonderful by the 
report of Sigismund Biederman." 

" And also on what you have seen and heard 
concerning our auxiliaries of Berne ?" said Ru- 
dolf. 

" On that I shall certainly be silent," said 
Arthur ; " unless thus far, that I mean to com- 
municate to my father the risk of his baggage 
being liable to examination and seizure at La 
Ferette." 

" It is needless," said Rudolf; « I will an- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 327 

$wer with head and hand for the safety of every- 
thing belonging to him," 

" I thank you in his name," said Arthur ; 
" but we are peaceful travellers, to whom it 
must be much more desirable to avoid a broil 

than to give occasion for one, even when secure 

i 

of coming out of it triumphantly." 

" These are the sentiments of a merchant, but 
not of a soldier," said Rudolf, in a cold and dis- 
pleased tone ; " but the matter is your own, 
and you must act in it as you think best. Only, 
remember if you go to La Ferette without us, 
you hazard both goods and life." 

They entered, as he spoke, the apartment of 
their fellow travellers. The companions of their 
patrol had already laid themselves down amongst 
their sleeping comrades at the lower end of the 
room. The Landamman and the Bannerman of 
Berne heard Donnerhugel make a report, that 
his patrol, both before and after midnight, had 
been made in safety, and without any encounter 
which expressed either danger or suspicion. The 
Bernese then wrapped him in his cloak, and, 
lying down on the straw, with that happy in- 


388 ANNE OF GKIERSTEIN. 

difference to accommodation, and promptitude 
to seize the moment of repose, which is acquired 
by a life of vigilance and hardship, was in a few 
minutes fast asleep. 

Arthur remained on foot but a little longer* 
to dart an earnest look on the door of Anne of 
Geierstein's apartment, and to reflect on the 
wonderful occurrences of the evening. But 
they formed a chaotic mystery, for which he 
could see no clew, and the necessity of holding 
instant communication with his father obliged 
him forcibly to turn his thoughts in that direc- 
tion. He was obliged to observe caution and 
secrecy in accomplishing his purpose. For this 
he laid himself down beside his parent, whose 
couch, with the hospitality which he had expe- 
rienced from the beginning of his intercourse 
with the kind-hearted Swiss, had been arran- 
ged in what was thought the most convenient 
place of the apartment, and somewhat apart 
from all others. He slept sound, but awoke at 
the touch of his son, who whispered to him ia 
English, for the greater precaution, that he had 
important tidings for his private ear. 


ANNE OF GEIBR8TEIN. • 329 

" An attack on our post ?" — said the elder 
Philipson ; " must we take to our weapons ?" 

M Not now/' said Arthur ; " and I pray of 
you not to rise or make alarm — this matter con- 
cerns us alone." 

" Tell it ipstantly, my son," replied his fa- 
ther ; " you speak to one too much used to dan- 
ger to be startled at it." 

" It is a case for your wisdom to consider," 
said Arthur. " I had information while upon 
the patrol, that the Governor of La Ferette 
will unquestionably seize upon your baggage 
and merchandize, under pretext of levying dues 
claimed by the Duke of Burgundy. I have also 
beta informed that our escort of Swiss youth 
are determined to resist this exaction, and con- 
ceive themselves possessed of the numbers and 
means sufficient to do so successfully.'* 

'* By St George, that must not be !" said the 
elder Philipson ; " it would be an evil requital 
to the true-hearted Landamman, to give the 
fiery Duke a pretext for that war which the 
excellent old man is so anxiously desirous to 
avoid, if it be possible. Any exactions, how- 


330 - ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

ever unreasonable, I will gladly pay. Bat to 
have my papers seized on were utter ruin. I 
partly feared this, and it made me unwilling to 
join myself to the Landamman's party. We 
must now break off from it. This rapacious go- 
vernor will not surely lay hands on the deputa- 
tion, which seeks his master's court under pro- 
tection of the law of nations ; but I can easily 
see how he might make our presence with them 
a pretext for quarrel, which will equally suit his 
own avaricious spirit and the humour of these 
fiery young men, who are seeking for matter of 
.offence. This shall not be taken for our sake. 
We will separate ourselves from the deputies, 
and remain behind till they are passed on. If this 
De Hagenbach be not the most unreasonable of 
men, I will find a way to content him so far as 
we are individually concerned. Meanwhile, I 
will instantly wake the Landamman," he said, 
" and acquaint him with our purpose.'' 

This was immediately done, for Philipson was 

aot slow in the execution of his resolutions. In 

■ a minute he was standing by the side of Arnold 

JBiederman, who, raised on his elbow, was list- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 331 

ening to his communication, while, over the 
shoulder of the Landamman, rose the head and 
long beard of the deputy from Schwitz, his 
large clear blue eyes gleaming from beneath a 
far cap, bent on the Englishman's face, but steal- 
ing a glance aside now and then to mark the 
impression which what was said made upon his 
colleague. 

" Good friend and host," said the elder Phi- 
lipson, " we have heard for a certainty that our 
poor merchandize will be subjected to taxation 
or seizure on our passage through La Ferette, 
and I would gladly avoid all cause of quarrel, for 
your sake as well as our own/' 

" You do not doubt that we can and will 
protect you ?" replied the Landamman. " I tell 
you, Englishman, that the guest of a Swiss is 
as safe by his side as an eaglet under the wing 
of its dam ; and to leave us because danger ap- 
proaches, is but a poor compliment to our cou- 
rage or constancy. I am -desirous of peace ; 
but not the Duke of Burgundy himself should 
wrong a guest of mine, so far as my power 
might prevent it." 


832 AKNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

At this the deputy from Schwitz clenched a 
fist like a boll's knuckles, and showed it above 
the shoulders of his friend. 

" It is even to avoid this, my worthy host," 
replied Philipson, " that I intend to separate 
from your friendly company sooner than I de- 
sire or purposed. Bethink you, my brave and 
worthy host, you are an ambassador seeking 
peace, I a trader seeking gain. War, or quar- 
rels which may cause war, are alike ruinous to 
your purpose and mine. I confess to you frank- 
ly, that I am willing and able to pay a large 
ransom, and when you are departed I will ne- 
gotiate for the amount. I will abide in the 
town of Bale till I have made fair terms with 
Archibald de Hagenbach ; and even if he is the ' 
avaricious extortioner you describe him, he will 
be somewhat moderate with me, rather than run 
the risk of losing his booty entirely, by my turn- 
ing back or taking another route. 9 ' 

" You speak wisely, Sir Englishman," said 
the Landamman; "and I thank you for re- 
calling my duty to my remembrance. But 
you must not, nevertheless, be exposed to dw- 


ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN. 33$ 

« 

ger. So soon as we move forward, the country 
will be again open to the devastations of the 
Burgnndian Riders and Lanz-knechts, who 
will sweep the roads in every direction. . The 
people of Bale are unhappily too timorous to 
protect you; they would yield you up upon the 
Governor's first hint; and for justice or lenity, 
you might as well expect it in hell as from 
Hagenbach." 

" There are conjurations, it is said, that can 
make hell itself tremble," said Philipson ; " and 
I have m^ans to propitiate even this,X>e Hagen- 
bach, providing I can get to private speech with 
him. But I own 1 can expect nothing from his 
wild riders, but to be put to death for the value 
of my cloak." 

" If that be the case," said the Landamman, 
" and if you must needs separate from us, for 
which I deny not that you have alleged wise and 
worthy reasons, wherefore should you not leave 
Graffs-lust two hours before us ? The roads will 
be safe, as our escort is expected ; and you will 
probably, if you travel early, find Do Hagenbach 
sober, and as capable as he ever is of hearing 


334 ANNE OF GEIERSTEINy, 


reason, — that is, of perceiving bis oifat interest.. « 
Bat, after bis breakfast is washe&^pawa with 
Rhine-wein, which he drinks evejy itibrning 
before he hears math, his fury bliljp even big 


avarice/* 


" All I want in order to execute this scheme,' ' 
said Philipson, " is the loan of a mule to carry, 
my v&lise, which is packed up with your bag- 
gage." 

" Take the she-mule," said the Landamman ; 
" she belongs to my brother here from Schwitz ; 
he will gladly bestow her on thee." 

" Jf she were worth twenty crowns, and my 
comrade Arnold desired me to do so," said the 
old whiteboard. 

" I will accept her as a loan with gratitude," 
said the Englishman. " 'But how can you dis- 
pense with the use of the creature ? You have 
only one left." 

" We can easily supply our want from Bale," 
said the Landamman. " Nay, we can make this 
little delay serve your purpose, Sir Englishman. 
I named fc% our hour of departure, the first 
hour after daybreak ; we will postpone it to the 


* 


ANNE *F GEIERSTEIN. , 335 

second hour* which wfll give va enough of time 
to get a horse or mule, and you, Sir Philipson, 
space td reach La j$grette, where I trust you 
will have achieved your business wijjjfcDe Ha- 
genbach to your contentment, and will join 
company again with us as we travel through- 
Burgundy."' 

" If our mutual objects will permit our tra- 
velling together, worthy Landamman," answer- 
ed the merchant, " I shall esteem myself most 
happy in becoming the partner of your journey.. 
— And now resume the repose which I have 
interrupted." 

" God bless you, wise and true-hearted man," 
said the Landamman, rising and embracing the 
Englishman. " Should we never meet again, I 
will still remember the merchant who neglected 
thoughts of gain, that he might keep the path of 
wisdom and rectitude. I know not another who 
would not have risked the shedding a lake of blood 
to save five ounces of gold. — Farewell thou too, 
gallant young man. Thou hast learned among 
us to keep thy foot firm while on the edge of 
a Helvetian crag, but none can teach thee so- 


336 < AUHE OF GEIERSTEIN. 

well as thy father, to keep an upright path among 
the morasses and precipices of human life/ 9 

He then/ embraced and took a kind farewell 
of his friends* in which, as usual, he was imitated 
by his friend of Schwitz, who swept with his long 
beard the right and left cheeks of both the Eng- 
lishmen, and again made them heartily welcome 
to the use of his mule. All then once more 
composed themselves to rest, for the space whidhr 
remain*! before the appearance of the autumnal 
dawn. 


v 

% 

END 6F VOLUME FIRST. 



MDIV BUX.GH l 
FRXKTXD BT BAIXAHTYNK AHD COM PA NT, 
7AVV* WOftX, CAKONOAtt.